Posted: 8:28 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
Making predictions on where the remaining MSU targets will sign on Wednesday.
Less than 24 hours from right now, fax machines all around the 50 states will be humming with the sounds of incoming faxes, and new additions to rosters everywhere. While many of college football's recruits have already decided where their two or four year homes will be, a small but important minority of recruits are still pondering their final decisions. Mississippi State has the majority of its 2014 class already sewn up, but there are still some of these undecided recruits left on the Bulldogs' board. And even though predicting the actions and thoughts of 18 year olds is a step towards insanity, I thought I would give a shot at predicting where the coveted last few remaining targets choose to play college football.
Carter, who plays at Pinkston HS in Dallas, Texas, may be the most interesting case on the MSU board for this class. We've heard relatively nothing at all about his recruitment by MSU, and then suddenly towards the end of last week, things started to heat up quite a bit. Several recruiting experts entered predictions on 247sports' Crystal Ball feature picking Carter to MSU, and that got fans' ears perked up quite a bit. Since that time, however, there has been little to no further chatter about Carter or his possibly ending up in Starkville.
As a State fan, I couldn't help but get excited at the thought of Carter picking MSU. For one, he is an outstanding defensive end prospect, but additionally, his signing with MSU would give State two years in a row where we stole a coveted recruit from the Cowboys late in the process. That dream does not appear to be coming to fruition though, and it looks like Trey will stick with Coach Gundy after all.
Sims, the All-American offensive lineman prospect from the Homewood area in Birmingham, is an MSU target that State has never seemed to be able to gain traction with. He's maintained MSU near the top of his list, sure, but there have always been others in front of Mullen and his staff. Sims visited Starkville three weekends ago, and he visited Oxford the weekend after that. While there is always an outside chance that Alabama or Auburn swoop in late and grab his NLI, I think Jordan is headed to school just northwest of Starkville.
O.J. Smith was a player that MSU thought it realistically had a shot at signing away from Alabama just a week ago. Smith was wavering from the Tide for different reported reasons, and he planned and took a visit to MSU this past weekend. While that visit seemed to go well, reports last night from 247sports ($) and others seem to put O.J. Smith back where he was in the first place - headed to Tuscaloosa next fall. Even though it is kind of cheating since that report came out last night, I figured I would leave Smith in my predictions to help boost my percentages a bit.
If you need an example of how wacky 'crootin can be, Cory Thomas may be a prime example. The talented defensive end prospect out of Birmingham has long considered MSU a favorite at or near the top, despite a commitment to Tennessee late last fall. Just a week or so ago, it looked like maybe MSU could swing Thomas back from Tennessee on NSD, but after a weekend visit to Knoxville, it seems that will not happen. As a matter of fact, something apparently changed ($) last weekend to the point to where Thomas is now between UT and.... Clemson? No mention of MSU whatsoever. No matter what changed, it looks like Cory's destination will be anywhere other than Starkville.
So far I've predicted MSU to go 0-for-4 on uncommitted targets, but before you let the depression wash completely over you, stay with me for the final three predictions.
First up is Will Coleman, a longtime MSU commitment and a Texas JUCO defensive end. While Coleman has had some recent increased interest in Arizona State, he has maintained the whole time that he will sign with MSU. I am predicting that he will do just that.
Marcus Griffin is a talented west coast product that came onto MSU's radar just earlier this year. The Bulldogs offered, and Griffin visited this past weekend, taking in all that the south and Starkville has to offer. While he seemed to enjoy his visit, it really is tough to get a read on which way Marcus is leaning. The Bulldogs will ultimately battle with California and Arizona tomorrow for his signature, but I'm predicting that he decides to go cross country to play for State.
Last up on the prediction list is Grant Harris, the only prospect included that's from the state of Mississippi. Given Harris' quiet demeanor throughout the recruiting process and his under-the-radar talent, he seems to fit the mold of an MSU recruit. Grant will decide between MSU, Southern Miss and Louisville on Wednesday, and I am predicting that his decision will be to play for the maroon and white.
With those seven predictions, I have MSU finishing with 21 signatures, while missing out on four final targets. Do you agree? Disagree? Have questions about why I picked one this way or that? Make sure to join in in the comments if you want to talk more about my thoughts here.