Mississippi State Recruiting: The Bulldogs Fall in Rankings

Ryan Wright@@HogManInLAAnalyst IIIJanuary 24, 2012

Dan Mullen continues to look for talent to bring to MSU.
Dan Mullen continues to look for talent to bring to MSU.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The volatile and ever-changing landscape of college football recruiting can be best represented by the situation in Starkville. Less than a week ago the Bulldogs’ 2012 class was ranked No. 20 by Rivals.com, giving fans hope for the future.

Now Mississippi State has fallen to No. 30 with one week left before the Feb. 1 National Signing Day.

How far will the Bulldogs' recruiting class fall?

Head coach Dan Mullen’s early recruiting success has given way as the rest of the pack seems to be catching up to the Bulldogs. The only change on the verbal commitment list is the loss of 3-star linebacker Lelland Ducksworth, from Hattiesburg, MS, and the addition of 3-star defensive end A.J. Jefferson, from Summit, MS.  

Per the state rankings on Rivals.com, Jefferson is ranked No. 6, while Ducksworth is ranked No. 14. The upgrade in overall talent has not kept the Bulldogs ranking secure.

Of the 25 scholarships available, three have already been claimed by junior college players. Three-star offensive linemen Dylan Holley and Charles Siddoway have signed their letters of intent.

East Mississippi Community College standout Denico Autry has signed his letter of intent as well. On Scout.com, Autry is considered a 5-star recruit. Per Rivals.com, Autry was the second-best junior college player in the nation during the 2011 season.

With 22 available scholarships left, Dan Mullen appears to be eager to sign a quarterback to this year’s class. Steven Bench, a 3-star Penn State verbal commitment from Cairo, Georgia as of Jan. 24, received an in-home visit from Mullen on Monday.

Bench verbally committed to Rice in December. Mullen and his staff can only hope that Bench flips again.

Also on the Bulldogs' radar is Nick Schuessler, a 2-star quarterback prospect from Loganville, Georgia. Schuessler does not have any reported offers to date. He was scheduled to take his first official visit to Arkansas this weekend but has changed his trip to MSU instead.

With the hard cap rule of only 25 recruits allowed to sign for any given SEC team, one of Mullen’s current verbal commitments may end up losing their scholarship offer if Schuessler’s visit goes well in Starkville.

Five other recruits are scheduled to join Schuessler on the MSU campus this weekend, including:

  • OT Demitric Camiel, 2-star, 6’6”, 285 pounds, Houston, TX
  • QB Forest Williams, unranked, 6’1”, 175 pounds, Amory, MS
  • TE Hunter Bradley, unranked, 6’4”, 220 pounds, Collierville, MS
  • K Michael Mordecai, unranked, 6’4”, 185 pounds, Jackson, MS
  • K Evan Sobiesk, unranked, 5’9”, 185 pounds, Hattiesburg, MS

Here’s a list of Mississippi State’s 22 verbal commitments:

  • DT Quay Evans, 6’3”, 295 pounds, 4-star, Morton, MS
  • DT Nick James, 6’4”, 335 pounds, 3-star, Long Beach, MS
  • RB Xavier Grindle, 5’10”, 190 pounds, 3-star, Columbia, MS
  • RB Deonte Evans, 5’11”, 198 pounds, 3-star, McComb, MS
  • S Adarrius Perkins, 6’2”, 185 pounds, 3-star, Brooklyn, MS
  • OL Devon Desper, 6’4” 295 pounds, 3-star, Madison, MS
  • DB Cedric Jiles, 6’0”, 180 pounds, 3-star, Clinton, MS
  • DE Nelson Adams, 6’5”, 260 pounds, 3-star, Brandon, MS
  • ATH Adairius Barnes, 5’11”, 180 pounds, 3-star, Port Gibson, MS
  • WR Frederick Brown, 6’1”, 166 pounds, 3-star, Jackson, MS
  • OT Justin Senior, 6’6”, 280 pounds, 3-star, Chatham, VA
  • DT Jordan Washington, 6’2”, 275 pounds, 3-star, Suwannee, GA
  • CB Kivon Coman, 6’1”, 190 pounds, 3-star, Florence, AL
  • RB Brandon Holloway, 5’9”, 165 pounds, 2-star, Tampa Bay, FL
  • TE Gus Walley, 6’4”, 215, 2-star, Leakesville, MS
  • DE Ryan Brown, 6’5”, 240 pounds, 3-star, Marrero, LA
  • OG Cole Carter, 6’6”, 270, 3-star, Caledonia, MS
  • DE Torrey Bell, 6’5”, 225, 2-star, River Ridge, LA
  • S Quadry Antoine, 5’11”, 210 pounds, 3-star, Belle Chasse, LA
  • P Devon Bell, 6’3”, 190 pounds, 3-star, Vicksburg, MS
  • DE A.J. Jefferson, 6’4”, 240 pounds, 3-star, Summit, MS
  • K Devon Bell, 2-star, 6’3”, 180 pounds, Vicksburg, MS

To show the discrepancy in recruiting services, Rivals.com has MSU ranked No. 30, Scout.com is No. 18, ESPN.com does not have MSU ranked in their Top 30, while 247Sports.com has the Bulldogs ranked No. 24.