Who are the next top recruits in the State of Mississippi? JLgrindin weighs in - Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Here is a personal list of Mississippi's 12 best players for the class of 2014, plus 18 players to watch for.
I will list each player and what is known, at this point, about their recruitment. Please remember that this is a very early list and is not only subject to change, but likely will change many times throughout the 2014 recruiting cycle. Many players will shift in the rankings and new players will emerge, as some players will also fall off. I want you to also know that very little is known in some of these players' recruitments at this time.
Keep in mind that this list contains 30 players. In years past, a list this big would contain 8-12 players good enough for the SEC. This year, all 30 of these players could be in the mix to play at the SEC level, or just below. There will be players emerge, as well, so as you can already see, this will be a very, very deep class in the state of Mississippi in 2014. It should be a fun ride up until February 5, 2014.
The Top 12 2014 MS prospects are:
1. Rod Taylor - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - OG - 6-4 300
Taylor is a very athletic offensive lineman, especially for his size. He is athletic enough to play the tackle spot in high school, but should end up as dominant guard on the next level. Roderick is already a national recruit and the headliner for MS in the 2014 class. It is believed that his pecking order is currently 1. Alabama 2. Ole Miss 3. MSU, with Alabama sitting comfortably in front.
2. CJ Hampton - Meridian High School - Meridian, MS - S - 6-1 190
Hampton was a dynamic playmaker on the defensive side of the ball in his junior and sophomore campaigns for Meridian. He can really change a game with his ability be johnny on the spot for interceptions and his big hit ability. He is a ball hawk and with a big senior campaign could also become a national recruit like Taylor. He has offers from Ole Miss, MSU, Indiana, Stanford and interest from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, and other SEC programs. He committed to Ole Miss last summer, at this point however, that just means Ole Miss has a substantial lead. That is all an early commitment means anymore.
3. Devin Voorhies - Wilkinson County High School - Woodville, MS - S - 6-1 185
Voorhies, like Hampton can change a game from his safety position on defense. However, Voorhies plays a little bit of everything for Wilkinson County, mainly manning the quarterback and safety positions. He is an early LSU commitment and will receive a lot of SEC interest as well. Expect Ole Miss and MSU to make a serious run at him before he signs. He does live in a pro-LSU area of Mississippi and has long favored LSU, so we will see how receptive he is to MSU and Ole Miss.
4. Jamoral Graham - Newton County High School - Decatur, MS - ATH - 5-11 165
I recently messed up and said Graham was from Newton County instead of saying he attends Newton County High and is from Decatur. I apologize for that and will not make that mistake again. However, what is not mistakable is the talent that Graham posses. While, I like the three players ahead of Graham more, Graham is the most versatile player on the list so far. Graham could end up at safety or cornerback on defense or he could be a dynamic receiver at the next level. I always like to go with the old add-age, you put your athletes on defense, I tend to think that Graham starts on offense. It would be an understatement to call Graham an MSU lean at this point. He will be pursued by Ole Miss as well as other SEC suitors during his recruitment.
5. DK Buford - Lafayette County High School - Oxford, MS - WR/RB - 5-11 190
Buford has been clocked around the 4.3 range on a consistent basis, including many times being clocked below 4.3. He was clocked at Steve Robertson's combine in Tupelo last summer at 4.25. It is safe to say he is the fastest player in the Magnolia State this cycle and one of the fastest players in the country. While he has played running back and will likely play quarterback his senior year, he will likely be a slot receiver in college. He is rumored to be close to a commitment to Ole Miss. MSU has offered and he has other SEC interest as well. He could heat up, but he might not as he has the lure of the MLB floating over him.
6. Breeland Speaks - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - DE/DT - 6-3 250
Speaks is another player from the trio of SEC-level prospects out of Callaway this year. He plays middle linebacker in high school, but could become a rush end or even grow into a defensive tackle in college. It appears that his frame will allow him to grow into a defensive tackle in college. Wherever he ends up, he will be a good one. Exceptional athletic ability for his size and a motor that never stops. He has been on Ole Miss and MSU's campus numerous times and this one is shaping up to be one of many OM/MSU battles in 2014. He has interest from Alabama as well.
7. Markell Pack - Purvis High School - Purvis, MS - WR - 6-1 175
Pack is far and away the best wide receiver in the state this year. He is a physical wideout and has good speed for his size. He has a frame that will take on a lot of good weight. He has said in the past that Ole Miss leads. He has offers from Ole Miss and MSU and should receive many more.
8. Ken Edwards - Neshoba Central High School - Philadelphia, MS - DE - 6-6 250
Edwards will be a guy that gets a lot of the Chris Jones comparisons, as they have already began to come. Those comparisons are mostly because of his size, but he has very good athletic ability as well. He is not at the level of Jones, but he will be a highly ranked kid nonetheless. He has a great frame and when he works out at camps, he will have a chance to impress. He is getting a lot of early in-state and SEC attention early on in his recruitment.
9. Aeris Williams - West Point High School - West Point, MS - RB - 6-1 205
Williams is the best true tailback in the class and will be a big bruising back on the next level. He has been the bell cow for the West Point Green Wave for a few years now and his recruitment is coming into focus, but make no doubt about it, recruiters have been on him for a while. He is definitely an MSU lean at the moment, with heavy interest coming from Ole Miss and Alabama.
10. Shareef White - Grenada High School - Grenada, MS - LB - 6-1 220
White is the top linebacker in the State in a class that will feature a good many linebackers. White has been talked about as a safety at the next level, so that speaks to his athletic ability. His size has linebacker written all over it, in fact, he is big enough to be a middle linebacker, but his athleticism will likely land him at outside linebacker. He has a lot of in-state interest and other SEC interest is on the way.
11. Ladarius Gallion - West Point High School - West Point, MS - DT - 6-4 320
Gallion is a very, very big guy and for his size, he is a very, very athletic guy. He has already gotten an Arkansas offer to go with his in-state offers. Other SEC offers are likely on the way. He is kind of hidden because of his lack of film, but when his film circulates, he could become one of the hotter names in the state. Could be another OM/MSU battle, but he is awfully close to Starkville and has a teammate that is likely MSU bound.
12. Alfred Dickens - Olive Branch High School - Olive Branch, MS - LB - 6-1 190
Dickens is a little on the small side now, but when the weight catches up to his frame, everything will be in place for him to be a defensive playmaker on the next level. He is the best defensive player on a very talented defense that will be returning for the Conquistadors in 2013. He is likely an MSU lean at this point. Ole Miss and other SEC offers will likely come his way before long.
18 more players to watch in MS in 2014:
- Gerri Green - Greenville-Weston High School - Greenville, MS - LB - 6-5 210
- Ronald Walker - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - S - 6-3 195(Ole Miss commitment)
- Jesse Jackson - Petal High School - Petal, MS - WR - 6-2 190
- Dontavian Lee - Forrest County Agricultural High School - Brooklyn, MS - RB - 6-0 200
- Grant Harris - Clinton High School - Clinton, MS - DE - 6-4 260
- Genard Avery - Grenada High School - Grenada, MS - LB - 6-1 220
- Alex Woodall - McComb High School - McComb, MS - QB - 6-3 215
- Preston Dedeaux - Picayune High School - Picayune, MS - RB - 5-11 200
- Chris Matthews - Olive Branch High School - Olive Branch, MS- LB/DE - 6-5 225
- Korey Robertson - Greenwood High School - Greenwood, MS - WR - 6-3 180
- Rejohn Franklin - Harrison Central High School - Gulfport, MS - LB - 6-2 230
- Rip Kirk - South Panola High School - Batesville, MS - QB - 6-2 225
- Devoriae Martin - Biloxi High School - Biloxi, MS - RB - 5-10 180
- Tyler Putman - Desoto Central High School - Southaven, MS - OT - 6-5 260
- Chris Phillips - Olive Branch High School - Olive Branch, MS - OT/OG - 6-5 315
- Curtis Akins - Byhalia High School - Byhalia, MS - LB - 6-0 210
- EJ Bounds - Water Valley High School - Water Valley, MS - S - 6-1 190
- Artez Williams - Greenwood High School - Greenwood, MS - S/CB - 5-11 180
Well, folks, there it is. I welcome suggestions. If the order is off or if I left someone out, please let me know. I love to hear your imput. This list, like I mentioned, is very fluid and I will be giving you updated versions of it throughout the 2014 recruiting cycle.