Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
On the backside of another recruiting weekend, we give you updates on on the recruits that were in Starkville this weekend, and a few that weren't.
There is a reason JL and myself and everyone else tell you that information on recruiting is fluid, and highly subject to change. MSU fans saw evidence of that first hand this past weekend with one of its biggest recruits making some last second changes to his visit plans. Following another weekend of recruiting visitors for Mississippi State, here's a quick update on what transpired this weekend.
- The biggest news to come out of the MSU camp this weekend had nothing to do with visitors on campus. To the surprise of many, we found out very late Friday night that 5-star defensive end and MSU commit Chris Jones was in Oxford for an official visit to Ole Miss. This came as a surprise to Bulldog fans because just earlier in the week, Jones told MSU recruiting writers that he would be in Starkville this weekend to help State recruit. Although some may never understand, I do understand why Jones took his visit the way he did. The 17 year has to be feeling immense pressure to come to MSU, and any perceived interest in any other school was bound to shoot fans' blood pressure sky high, as we witnessed this weekend. There are mixed messages as to who knew Jones would visit and for how long they had known. However, State fans can rest a bit more easy this afternoon, as Jones told Cowbell Clang's John Farley that he is 100% committed to MSU following his visit to Oxford this weekend. You can't blame a young guy for wanting to take visits to make sure that he made the right decision, although that didn't stop many from freaking this weekend. There seemed to be reason to worry given the secretive nature of Jones' visit, but when you note what we said above, it would make sense that Jones would try to keep his visit as quiet as possible. Unfortunately for him, nothing stays quiet in the days of social media. Now that the visit has happened, though, expect to see reports of anything and everything regarding Jones' intentions from here until National Signing Day. Frankly, I feel really badly for him, as his phone will undoubtedly be ringing non stop for the next 10 days. I don't think anyone on the MSU side will be fully confident until Jones' LOI is faxed in in 10 days, but for now, things certainly look better than they did late Friday night. For now, all State fans can do is assume Jones is solid with MSU until told otherwise.
- Another disappointing development this weekend for MSU's recruiting efforts was that 4-star Hutchinson C.C. DT Toby Johnson was unable to make it to campus this weekend due to his flights getting cancelled. According to Bulldawgs247 ($), Johnson has tentatively rescheduled his official visit for this upcoming Thursday. Although it is assumed that Georgia leads for his services, MSU hopes that nearby family will play an important part in Johnson's decision on National Signing Day. He still plans to visit Auburn as well, and may do so next weekend following his MSU visit.
- There were a few recruits that did make it to campus this weekend, and among them were two quarterbacks that are important targets for State. After developments with Joshua Dobbs and John O'Korn led MSU and those prospects in opposite directions, the Dogs began pursuing Damian Williams and Zack Greenlee, and both prospects made it to campus this weekend for a visit. Both reportedly came away from their visits impressed, and both will go home to discuss things with their families. Although there's nothing concrete to report at this time, it seems that things look good for State with these two. We should know more hopefully as the upcoming week progresses.
- MSU had a few commits in town this weekend, as WR B.J. Hammond, ATH Dez Harris, and WR Shelby Christy all took official visits to Starkville this weekend. There weren't any major updates of note with these guys, other than the fact that they enjoyed their visits, and will all be MSU signees on February 6th. Recruits that commit later in the process often get more of the attention, but it's important to remember commits like Hammond and Christy, who will play an important part in MSU's offense, and have long been on board with State.
- John Luke also talked to you Friday about some recruits that MSU is targeting that visited elsewhere this weekend. One of those is 5-star CB Mackensie Alexander. Alexander, who visited MSU the weekend of January 18th, took a surprise visit to Auburn University this past weekend. Although he talked with reporters ($) following his visit, it seems that Mackensie is just as wide open in his recruitment as ever, and remains a likely signing day surprise. Also, we reported Friday that his brother was to visit West Virginia. It looks like Mackenro visited Rutgers instead, where Mackensie was supposed to visit as well before a last second change of plans.
- We also noted Friday that 4-star RB and Vandy commit Johnathan Ford, who was originally scheduled to visit MSU this past weekend, cancelled that visit. Ford instead visited Auburn this weekend. Although he didn't give reporters ($) much indication of a potential commit change, it does look like MSU may be out of it, unless Ford decides to visit next weekend on the final weekend before National Signing Day. As JL noted Friday, Ford is pretty strong in his commitment to Vandy.