In February I gave you a list of 30 players to watch in Mississippi, and even had the top 12 players ranked in order. Here I bring you an updated rankings list where I rank the top 25 players in Mississippi in order. Much has changed on the recruiting scene since mid February and these rankings will reflect that.
1. Rod Taylor - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - OG - 6-4 300
It is by no surprise that Taylor remains as my top player in Mississippi. He has athleticism for days and when you mix athleticism with his size, then you have yourself a future impact player on the SEC level and a potential NFL caliber player. He has added impressive offers(just about everyone has offered him now) since I last told you about him but his leaders remain the same, as it appears to still be an Ole Miss-Alabama battle and Ole Miss appears to have pulled ahead, if only by a small margin.
2. CJ Hampton - Meridian High School - Meridian, MS - S - 6-1 190
Again, no change here at the two spot either. Hampton has impressed at various camps around the Southeast in recent months and even earned an invitation to the Opening in Eugene, Oregon. Georgia, Alabama, and others have come calling on Hampton and have given him an offer. He still remains firm in his commitment to Ole Miss, but that hasn't stopped the rest of the country from trying to garner his services and it appears that Ole Miss will have to hold on tight until next February.
3. Gerri Green - Greenville-Weston High School - Greenville, MS - LB/DE - 6-5 220
Green is a guy that blew up this Spring and it shows in my rankings, as he come from outside my top 12 to take the third spot here. He is a long-rangy linebacker type that some schools have targeted as a defensive end. I think he ends up as an outside linebacker as he is quick and very athletic and has long arms and enough speed to help him in coverage. I think he will make a heck of a rush linebacker on the next level. It appears that his childhood favorite, MSU, maintains their lead for his services, but Ole Miss has come on strong as well as have other SEC suitors recently. Should be an in-state battle.
4. Markell Pack - Purvis High School - Purvis, MS - WR - 6-1 175
Pack recently committed to Florida State. It was his relationship with Tim Brewster, formerly at MSU, that set him over the edge and helped him make the call for FSU. While he is a recent commit and the excitement is still fresh in his commitment, I still expect Pack to stay close to home and play for MSU or Ole Miss. Pack is the first cousin of former Ole Miss linebacker Garry Pack. Pack has good relationships with the staffs at both in-state schools and I expect the them to battle it out for him in the end. Pack is a quick receiver with good size that should be a playmaker on the outside at the next level. He has offers from LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, as well as Ole Miss, MSU and FSU.
5. Breeland Speaks - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - DT/DE - 6-3 250
Speaks was sixth in my rankings back in February and while that was higher than some thought of him back then, he is a consensus top five or six player in the state now. He has earned offers from the likes of South Carolina, Southern Miss, in addition to MSU and Ole Miss. He played linebacker his junior year but has competed at defensive tackle in recent camps and earned MVP honors at two of them. He was also invited to the Opening. Should be an in-state battle to watch.
6. Sammie Epps - Greenwood High School - Greenwood, MS - TE - 6-4 215
Epps is another guy who has seen his stock skyrocket this spring. He was not on my list of 30 players to watch in February. He was really an unknown until committing to Ole Miss in March. He was then noticed at various camps for his ability to run routes like a wide receiver and his athleticism. Epps out-performed higher ranked players in camps at Louisiana and Memphis. He will be a mismatch at tight end on the next level. He could play wide receiver, but that tells you how much of a weapon he will be at tight end in the spread offense. He will have to become an effective blocker, however.
7. Jesse Jackson - Petal High School - Petal, MS - WR - 6-2 200
Jackson is a guy that saw his name rise a bit after getting an offer and camp invite from Alabama a few months ago. Then Ole Miss came after him. While MSU and Ole Miss like him at wide receiver, Alabama likes him at defensive back. Auburn has made a push lately as well. Jackson has maintained MSU as his leader for a while and says that Ole Miss is number two and Alabama is close behind both of the in-state schools. This could shape up to be a nice battle between Ole Miss and MSU as well.
8. Jamoral Graham - Newton County High School - Decatur, MS - WR/DB - 5-11 165
Graham recently committed to MSU and appears to be solid as he had long favored the Bulldogs before his commitment. Some say Graham is a wide receiver and some say he is a defensive back. While I think he would excel in the slot, I like him at defensive back on the next level. His versatility is a good problem for MSU to have and is a reason he is so valuable.
9. DK Buford - Lafayette County High School - Oxford, MS - RB/WR - 5-11 190
Buford could be the fastest player in Mississippi for the class of 2014. He has been clocked at 4.25 in the 40 yard dash and excels in both baseball and track in addition to football. He committed to the hometown Ole Miss Rebels back in February and looks to be solid as you would guess. Buford has played running back, wide receiver and return man for Lafayette County and next fall he will be the quarterback. He is ranked as a running back but will likely end up at slot receiver on the next level, although he will likely have some carries as well.
10. Devin Voorhies - Wilkinson County High School - Woodville, MS - S - 6-1 180
Voorhies is a guy that I ranked as third best player in Mississippi in my February rankings. While not to say that he has gotten worse, but he has been passed by guys who have had good Spring showings at camps. He showed up to one camp and ran a 40 yard dash that was much slower than he has run in the past and he was rather quiet this Spring. He committed to LSU last summer and that has held up so far. While MSU and Ole Miss continue to recruit him, neither has really pushed hard yet or made him a priority. While I think both schools will take him, I think you will see him stick with LSU and Ole Miss and MSU will be fine with that. He lives in a very pro-LSU part of Mississippi and he lives within an hour of Baton Rouge.
11. Alfred Dickens - Olive Branch High School - Olive Branch, MS - LB/S - 6-1 200
Dickens is a guy that has become even more of a priority for Ole Miss and MSU this Spring. MSU likes him as a safety while Ole Miss likes him as a linebacker/safety hybrid. Dickens has been recruited hard by MSU for a while, but has family connections to Ole Miss as he has a sister there now. This could shape up to be one of the most exciting MSU/Ole Miss recruiting battles of 2014.
12. Ronald Walker - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - S - 6-3 195
Walker is another player from Callaway High School that has major SEC interest and is currently an Ole Miss commitment. He committed to the Rebels back in December of 2012. Walker is a long, rangy safety that is very physical. He has the frame to add more weight and will likely do so as he is known to be a workout warrior. Plays wide receiver and safety for Callaway. He could even eventually grow into a linebacker.
13. AJ Moore - Bassfield High School - Bassfield, MS - S/LB - 6-1 190
Moore has an Ole Miss and Southern Miss offer and heavy MSU interest.
14. Aeris Williams - West Point High School - West Point, MS - RB - 6-1 210
Williams has long been considered a heavy MSU lean and it is about when, not if, for the West Point star to commit to the Bulldogs.
15. Tyler Putman - Desoto Central High School - Southaven, MS - OT - 6-5 285
Putman is a quick-footed offensive lineman with basketball type athleticism that is committed to Ole Miss.
16. Dayall Harris - Callaway High School - Jackson, MS - WR - 6-3 185
Tall, lean receiver that is also well known for his track accomplishments. Fourth member of the Callaway crew and also an Ole Miss commit.
17. Trey Brown - Ackerman High School - Ackerman, MS - DT - 6-4 265
Brown holds offers from Ole Miss and MSU and a battle should ensue. He grew up just 20 minutes from the campus of MSU, so if they decide to go after him hard, he should be a dawg.
18. Grant Harris - Clinton High School - Clinton, MS - DT/DE - 6-4 260
Harris holds offers from Miami, West Virginia and MSU among others. I would venture to say that MSU leads for Harris and I expect him to be a Bulldog.
19. Genard Avery - Grenada High School - Grenada, MS - LB - 6-1 230
Avery is a big, physical and incredibly athletic linebacker. One of the top linebackers in the state in a class that is full of good linebackers. If things come together for Avery, I expect him to get some offers in the future. He will shine during the camp season.
20. Shareef White - Grenada High School - Grenada, MS - LB/S - 6-1 220
White is another linebacker from Grenada. He also plays safety some and could be a safety at the next level. He will likely have to prove himself at camps in a deep year in Mississippi for linebackers.
21. Dontavian Lee - Forrest County Agricultural High School - Brooklyn, MS - RB - 6-0 200
Lee is one of the best backs in the state this year and has already committed to Mississippi State. Although he already has his offer and has accepted it, I still expect him to come to camp and show out at MSU's Big Dawg camp.
22. CJ Moore - Bassfield High School - Bassfield, MS - S - 6-1 175
Moore is the twin brother of AJ Moore. Moore, like his twin brother could end up in the defensive backfield on the next level. He is a quarterback on the high school level for Bassfield.
23. Ethan Frith - North Pike Senior High School - Summit, MS - OT - 6-7 315
Frith has interest from MSU and Ole Miss, but his first offer came from Florida State. His feet could a question for the SEC on the next level, but he is still being looked at hard by Ole Miss and MSU.
24. Chase Johnson - Olive Branch High School - Olive Branch, MS - OC - 6-4 260
Johnson is a guy that has seen his stock rise recently since being moved to center from tackle for Olive Branch. MSU has ramped up their interest in Chase and Ole Miss has as well. UAB became his first offer just a few weeks ago.
25. LaDarius Gallion - West Point High School - West Point, MS - DT - 6-4 320
Gallion is another West Point player that received a lot of early interest but has seen his stock slip as other in-state defensive tackles have risen. He is still a solid prospect and I expect him to end up a bulldog. He will impress come camp season.
This is my current top 25 in Mississippi to date. As I have mentioned in the past, this list is not concrete and is subject to change and likely will. This list will be updated following the summer camp circuit.