Dan Mullen was perturbed last Signing Day. He was rightfully upset by the lack of "commitment" from some former Bulldog verbals, and he acknowledged that if future players were going to look at other schools, their word to sign with Mississippi State would just be a reservation until they write out their name on the dotted line.
As of Tuesday, Long Beach defensive tackle Nick James reserved his spot with MSU.
James, who was recently named to The Clarion Ledger's prestigious Dandy Dozen team, surprisingly elected to commit to Mississippi State—but noted that he would still take his official visits come the fall, according to The Clarion Ledger.
"I'm still going to take some visits to make sure, but I'm pretty positive I'll end up at State," James said.
Heard that one before.
Along with James' commitment, there is another troubling issue to point out. His documented struggles in the classroom. James told the Sun Herald he apparently has ways to go academically and it seems like he could just as easily end up in junior college.
"My grades were a little low, and State said it would work with me to get my classes right," he said.
In fairness, he told Scout he has a core 2.5 GPA and a 16 on the ACT, but who knows. Here's hoping Chris Wilson will call up Louisiana coach/Pete Boone whipping boy David Saunders about...The Plan.
Sidenote—You can't give Ed Orgeron credit for a lot of things. He was arguably the worst head coaching hire in SEC history, but he and Saunders struck gold in developing The Plan to help academically borderline recruits qualify for college. Hooray, Mississippi Public Schools!
Hurdles aside, I'm freaking thrilled to have James as a part of this class. At 6-5, 345 pounds, James is a behemoth that will command double teams as soon as he is inserted in the lineup. For being so big, he holds it well and isn't sloppy like Monte Collins was when he arrived on campus nine years ago. Despite James' monstrous size, he solely doesn't rely on it as he is active from the snap to the end of the whistle. With tutoring from Wilson and a few summers with strength coach Matt Balis, James is just the type of man-child that turns elite defensive lineman.
Official visits and grades be damned, I'm happy to have him. Just hope he makes it to Starkville.
Nick James Defensive Tackle 6-5, 345
Rivals - *** Scout - ****
Chose Mississippi State over offers from LSU, Ole Miss, and Auburn, among others.
Nick James Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)