By Brandon Speck
Mississippi State’s loss is Middle Tennessee’s gain.
That’s where the bumpy recruiting road has taken Oxford defensive end Darrius Liggins. And Chargers’ coach Johnny Hill says the Blue Raiders are getting a player no college has seen the best of yet.
“He’s a 17-year-old young man. He’s got the wingspan you’re looking for, good speed. He’s a big ol’ boy and his best football is in front of him, too” Hill said. “He’s not going to do anything but get better.”
Liggins drew headlines when the Mississippi State commit had his offer pulled by the Bulldogs days after the Class 5A state final.
Liggins had been committed since June 15. That left his lone offer from UAB and left Hill saying Mississippi State’s current staff was no longer allowed at Oxford.
Boise State came in late and Liggins visited Southern Miss. He visited Louisiana-Lafayette two weekends ago, where Hill has two former players, tight end Larry Pettis and offensive lineman Terry Johnson.
“Everybody backed off on him when him and State committed to each other,” Hill said. “When State de-committed, (MTSU) came in here. He had some more offers, thank goodness.”
The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder collected 84 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks and an interception last season.
Hill says the added weight Liggins will put on with a college program will add to his strength, strength he says shows up better in the weight room than most long-leverage people.
“They’re going to put probably 20 pounds on him. He’s long, long arms and at 240, a lot stronger than you’d think,” Hill said.