Bulldogs nab blue-chip prospect Hood of Meridian

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Meridian’s Rodney Hood, the state’s top basketball prospect for 2011, made a verbal commitment to Mississippi State on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-7, 180-pound guard/forward announced his choice at a press conference at the Meridian Boys and Girls Club, picking MSU over several other suitors. He said his other finalists were Florida State and Louisville, but he also held offers from Alabama, Georgetown, Georgia, Marquette and several other schools.
“There were a lot of big-name people and coaches that recruited me, but I’ve never had a coach like Coach (Rick) Stansbury believe in me as a player,” said Hood, who averaged 21.1 points per game as a junior. “After a while I kind of saw everyone’s true colors from other schools, but coach Stansbury and the coaches at Mississippi State, they stayed the same and they kept pushing me since the eighth grade.”
Hood is rated No. 21 in the Rivals150 national rankings and No. 7 small forward. He’s the second 2011 commitment for MSU, joining Jackson Callaway point guard Deville Smith.
The fall signing period begins Nov. 10.