Mississippi State’s sixth annual Big Dawg Camp was also its most successful.
The Bulldogs received eight football commitments on Friday, swelling the 2015 class to 25 and lifting it five spots up to No. 9 nationally according to 247Sports.com.
Having covered MSU recruiting for five years at Rivals.com before joining the Daily Journal staff, I’ve seen my share of crazy occurrences. But I have never witnessed anything quite as wild as receiving eight commitments in a span of around 10 hours – and that’s not including a baseball commitment the Diamond Dogs also received on Friday.
When the dust finally settled late Friday, State had added two four-stars, four high school three-star prospects, a junior college three-star prospect and a 2016 offensive guard.
Headlining the day was Bassfield safety Jamal Peters, who is considered the top senior prospect in the state. I witnessed Peters in action at last year’s camp and could already tell he was a star in the making.
Peters’ commitment was huge for the Bulldogs but they will still have to fend off other suitors all the way up until signing day in February.
Mississippi State also gained three running backs. Four-star Nick Gibson (Pinson, Ala.) was obviously a huge get for the Bulldogs along with Alec Murphy (Nixa, Mo.). Those two are the more traditional backs to go along with Kentavious Thomas (Milledgeville, Ga.), who pledged back in February.
Three-star Keith Mixon (Irondale, Ala.) was the third back to commit Friday night but is more of an all-purpose guy.
At 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, Mixon relies more on his speed and has good hands out of the backfield. At Big Dawg Camp, he posted a forty yard dash time of 4.37.
Bay Springs dual-threat quartback Jonnas Spivey is another guy the Bulldogs have had their eye on since last summer. I had a chance to speak with him and see him in action and I really like his athleticism. With two other quarterbacks committed in this class (Chason Virgil and Nick Tiano) I doubt Spivey’s future in college will be behind center, but there are a number of positions where he fits.
Hoover, Ala., three-star wide receiver Justin Johnson was the guy that got the ball rolling early in the day Friday letting our John Davis break the story while at the National Select 7-on-7 Tournament. Johnson gives MSU a big target at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds.
Copiah-Lincoln Community College defensive end Jonathan Calvin attended Big Dawg Camp as a spectator and also joined in on the wave of commitments. The Bulldogs fended off Auburn for the pledge of the former Murrah standout.
Dee Nalls, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound offensive guard from Fayette, Ala., also joined the fold late Friday, becoming the Bulldogs’ second 2016 commitment.
With the spots filling up fast, State will have to be selective now on who they take with its few remaining scholarships in this class.
One spot could go to Brookhaven’s Leo Lewis. The nation’s top-ranked linebacker de-committed from Alabama while attending Big Dawg Camp and is expected to give MSU strong consideration.
It has been since 2003 since the Bulldogs finished in the top 10 in recruiting but if this class sticks and a few more pieces fall into place, Dan Mullen will be smiling in February.
Logan Lowery (logan.lowery@ journalinc.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal. He blogs daily at InsideMSUsports.com