By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi State is putting together what could be its strongest class in years, and it’s not finished yet.
With national signing day (Feb. 6) less than three weeks away, MSU has 22 verbal commitments for the 2013 class. Recruiting site 247Sports.com ranks it as the 14th-best class in the country, sixth among SEC teams.
Scout.com ranks this class 13th overall (sixth SEC), while Rivals.com has it at 24th overall (10th SEC).
That’s encouraging for MSU, but a good bit of work remains for the coaches on the recruiting trail.
“If you look at this class, top priority is getting another quarterback in this class,” said Paul Jones, who covers recruiting for Bulldawgs247.com. “You do that, pretty much everything else is filling your needs. They’ve done a good job of filling their needs with the exception of getting another quarterback.”
MSU currently has one quarterback commitment, Cord Sandberg of Bradenton, Fla. But Sandberg is a very good baseball player as well, and he could wind up going that route depending on where he’s drafted this summer.
State is chasing two other QBs, both of whom have already given verbal commitments to other schools: Joshua Dobbs and John O’Korn. Dobbs, of Alpharetta, Ga., has committed to Arizona State; O’Korn, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a Houston commit.
Dobbs is scheduled to visit Arizona State this weekend. He has an offer from MSU; O’Korn doesn’t yet.
Verbals not binding
“If they were to offer John O’Korn, they would have a very good shot,” Jones said. “Obviously they feel good about Josh Dobbs, too, or they would’ve probably already offered O’Korn.”
Players reneging on a commitment and choosing another school is not unusual this time of year. Flipping can happen when a recruit gets more and more attention from other schools leading up to signing day.
If MSU’s class is to remain as strong as it is, it must hang on to five-star defensive end Chris Jones (Houston) and four-star tailback Ashton Shumpert (Itawamba AHS). Those two seem unlikely to change their minds.
One who could flip is college receiver Corey Smith, who is receiving interest from Ohio State.
There’s room for a few more players in this class, and the top targets include safety Tony Conner (Batesville), defensive end Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind.) and receiver De’Runnya Wilson (Birmingham, Ala.).