This was the weekend Dan Mullen and his staff have been waiting on for quite some time. Most of Mississippi State’s commitments and top remaining targets were in Starkville for an official visit weekend.
Early returns from Starkville show the Bulldogs’ big effort was a home run.
In addition to visits from a number of commitments, the Bulldogs hosted three remaining targets – one of which promptly committed – and one who is committed to another SEC West school.
Georgia Military defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence is committed to Auburn, but visited Starkville this weekend to check things out. The uncommitted targets: Co-Lin Community College TE Darrion Hutcherson, OL Jordan Sims of Homewood, Ala., and DL Grant Harris of Clinton.
Hutcherson committed on Sunday.
With Harris, it seems the Bulldogs have always held the edge with out-of-state schools still calling. Sims visited Starkville this weekend, but it appears his upcoming visit to Oxford could tell the tale of his recruitment, unless the home-state Tide or Tigers come calling late. Hutcherson could be added to the Mississippi State commitment list at any time now.
Among the commitments in town were Greenville LB Gerri Green, Decatur WR/DB Jamoral Graham, West Point RB Aeris Williams and Petal WR Jesse Jackson. MSU did well with the targets not committed to them this weekend, but likely an even better job affirming their commitments, especially the aforementioned cornerstone pieces.
Not many people were surprised when the news of Sammie Epps re-committing to Ole Miss came out late Saturday night, but it was a big addition for the Rebels nonetheless. Epps was long committed to the Rebels before opening up his pledge to enjoy the process. MSU and Auburn offered initially, but backed off due as it appeared Epps was still heading for Oxford. Now Freeze and staff have their potential playmaker back in the fold.
On campus in Oxford, things were quiet as the Rebels hosted no visitors and coaches were on the road. It could just be the calm before the storm as the Rebels will host their big recruiting weekend next weekend. The list of visitors is impressive featuring uncommitted prospects, committed prospects as well as Rebel commits.
Among those not committed to the Rebels that are expected to be in town: WR Trey Quinn of Lake Charles, La., DB Terrance Alexander out of New Orleans, DE Andrew Williams from Mcdonough, Ga., DT Michael Sawyers of Nashville, Tenn., Shattle Fenteng who plays at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas – he played high school in Grayson, Ga. alongside current Rebels Robert and Denzel Nkemdiche and David Kamara – and the previously mentioned Jordan Sims.
This will be the primary Ole Miss official visit weekend, so many of the commitments are expected to make it in as well.
John Luke McCord, from Tupelo, is a freelance recruiting writer for the Daily Journal and Rebels247. His column will appear though National Signing Day in February.