I offer my final thoughts on the 2013 class that MSU signed.
I know that we have all just about heard enough about the 2013 signing class for MSU. I think we have just about heard all there is to hear about the 2013 class all together. Some may even be sick of recruiting for a while. For me, I started thinking about the 2014 recruiting class about 6 o'clock on National Signing Day. However, it was clear that the 2013 class had gotten to me, hence my break in writing about recruiting on the site. I had planned on giving you guys my final thoughts on the class last week, but I had to take a break from 2013. Now that 2014 is up and kicking, I have new energy. For some of you, I may be too late, but I'll give you my best shot to keep you interested in the 2013 class for MSU for just a few more minutes.
For me, it all starts with Chris Jones. A guy that I have been high on for a long time, and a guy that has gone from a defensive end with a good frame from Houston, MS to possibly the most talented player in the country. Everyone knows his story and how his recruitment unfolded down the stretch, but all that matters now is that he on his way to Starkville. He may only be on campus for three years, but make no mistake, MSU now has possibly the most talented player in the conference.
From there, the story moves to a recruitment after signing day. Im not talking about potential late signee Toby Johnson, I'm talking about Cord Sandberg. It was a big pull for MSU to go into Florida and get one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the nation, but his real recruitment is just beginning. It is no secret, he is soon to be a very high draft pick in the MLB draft. If MSU were to somehow get him to campus, it could surpass Chris Jones as the coup of the class. He could be a game-changer at quarterback.
Perhaps, the least talked about happening of the class was getting Ashton Shumpert. It was always believed that Kailo Moore would flip back to Ole Miss and when he did, it didn't take long for MSU to get a commitment from the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year. It was important for MSU to get a big time back in this class as they were only going to be taking one. They got their man.
The next big thing to talk about for MSU was the re-stocking of the cupboard at receiver. MSU was rolling along with BJ Hammond, Shelby Christy, Donald Gray, and De'Runnya Wilson. They had rebuilt a WR position that was losing some big time producers from the last few years such as Chad Bumphis, Arceto Clark and Chris Smith. Then, at the 11th hour, MSU was able to flip the first commitment of the 2013 class for Oklahoma State in Fred Ross. Ross was a 4-star WR that brings the big play ability that Chad Bumphis will leave behind. This was a huge cherry on top of the already sweet cake MSU had baked at the WR position.
Then, you have to talk about the in-state haul MSU was able to get on the offensive line. Each of the three offensive line signees came from the Magnolia State. MSU did end up losing Deon Mix late. Mix was a guy that was talked about a lot for the 2013 class, but despite his departure to Auburn, State was able to hold on to a guy that never wavered in Kent Flowers. The reason I mention Flowers is because, in my opinion, he was the one MSU could not afford to lose. Flowers could potentially be the left tackle down the road. It's not every class you are able to go get a left tackle. Flowers was less heralded than some of the other offensive lineman in MS (a very deep in-state OL class in 2013), but he could end up being the one everyone missed on down the road as I feel he will develop into the best offensive lineman from this crop of MS offensive lineman in 2013.
Not to be underestimated in this 2013 class are the guys that Dan Mullen and company signed with the intentions of them playing right away. MSU was able to resign 2011 signee, Justin Cox. Cox went to East Mississippi Community College and became a superstar. He will be able to step into a defensive backfield that loses Corey Broomfield and Johnthan Banks and contribute immediately. Then there is wide receiver signee, Jeremy Chappelle. Chappelle will also be able to take advantage of a depth chart that will be missing some playmakers next year. Chappelle should immediately help out Tyler Russell and the MSU passing game.
With that being said, this was a smaller class and it was a top 25 class. That is not an easy thing to do. This was Dan Mullen's second consecutive top 25 class as well. This class got less national praise than others, but let me just say, this class will go toe-to-toe with any class as far as filling needs. Dan Mullen was able to get what he needed (outside of maybe one more OL) and he was able to get a few athletes that bring versatility. He was also able to go get a bonafide superstar. This class does not leave very much to be desired. This is a class that Dan Mullen can use to further his program's progress and to build and have an even better class in 2014. This is a class that MSU can and should be proud of.