One week from today, high school football players all across the country will be signing pieces of paper that will lead them to universities all across the country next August. And even though a lot of the recruits have been recruited by schools for years at this point, a lot can still happen and change in the final week leading up to National Signing Day. For awhile it looked as though MSU would have a fairly uneventful final few weeks before NSD as the Bulldogs secured a majority of their 2014 class well in advance of February 2014. But recent events over the last few days may make things a bit more interesting for MSU in the final week. Let's take a look at some news and notes on what's happening with MSU recruiting right now.
- MSU hosted a number of commits and targets over last weekend, but one of the biggest remaining targets on State's board came in to town for his official visit on Sunday night. Marlon Humphrey, the 5* Birmingham CB, made his visit to Starkville as planned, and by all accounts I've seen from the various recruiting writers, his visit went well. Humphrey is as talented of a track athlete as he is a football player, so it appears as if track will factor into his decision as much as football does. If that turns out to be the case, then MSU may have more of a shot than it normally would on football alone. Still, it's highly likely that Humphrey signs with Alabama, where his father played in the 80s. It has been impressive how Marlon has handled himself throughout the recruiting process as he seems to be weighing all options and really putting thought into his decision, in contrast to the numerous quick-commitments and flips we see this time of year. He will likely end up in Crimson, but State's work put in just to get him to visit was impressive.
- One of the visitors and uncommited prospects that MSU hosted last weekend was Anthony Brown, a DE from the South Florida area. While Brown seemed to enjoy his visit, he ultimately decided on another destination this week as he committed to Arkansas on Monday.
- Will Coleman, a 3* DE MSU commit from Tyler, Texas, is reportedly set to visit Arizona State ($) this upcoming weekend. While that's hardly breaking news in the world of recruiting today, it is a bit of a surprise given Dan Mullen's disdain for committed prospects taking additional visits after committing. While the feeling for some like Rivals' Robbie Faulk ($) is that this is simply a courtesy visit, it is always nerve racking when a commit takes another visit this close to signing day. It will be interesting to see if he winds up taking the visit.
- Maybe the biggest news for MSU recruiting from the past couple of days is that Alabama DT commit O.J. Smith will take an official visit to Starkville this upcoming weekend. Smith has been committed to Alabama since May of last year, but it seems that something may have changed since that time last summer. There are, of course, rumors circulating as to why Smith's situation has changed, but it seems unfair for me to speculate on those given the my dearth of knowledge on Smith. All we know for sure is that Dan Mullen and company visited with Smith at his home last night and that the Under Armor All-American will be in Starkville this upcoming weekend.
- OL prospect Bunchy Stallings, who visited MSU two weekends ago, is reportedly now leaning towards Kentucky ($) as his leader heading into the final week of recruiting. Stallings visited the Wildcats this past weekend, and it seems like he likes what he's hearing from their staff. With the departure of Sean Rawlings from the MSU class earlier in the week, MSU is still searching for a final one or two OL prospects to add to this class.
- And finally - What is the deal with MSU and rumors of some secret elite prospect that may be a late addition to the class of 2014? Just this past weekend we have seen nearly all of the recruiting writers from Robbie Faulk to Paul Jones hinting at "an elite prospect" in a good position to join MSU's class here in the 11th hour. All of the guys are understandably withholding the prospect's name for his sake, so MSU fans are left to guess who this mystery prospect is. We saw just last year the MSU staff's ability to reel in the big fish late, as the Bulldogs pulled talented 4* wide receiver Fred Ross from Oklahoma State literally days before NSD. Could another guy like Ross be added late again this season? It sure seems like it is a possibility. The question is only who that recruit may be, and the speculation has ranged from Marlon Humphrey to nearly a half dozen or so other prospects. One way or the other we should know soon.
As always, now is the time to make sure you're following guys like Robbie, Paul, John Farley, and others to make sure you get the latest info as it comes in. These guys tirelessly work this time of year to keep us updated on it all, and they all do a pretty good job at that. Also, make sure to check back here as we monitor and assess MSU's 2014 class as it takes its final shape here in the last days leading up to National Signing Day.