Readers of FWtCT, I would like to wish you a late Happy New Years. I hope that your resolutions are still going strong and that you all ate black eyed peas and any other foods that you feel will give you luck in 2013. I would love to tell you of the motivational and inspirational New Years resolutions that I made, but to be quite honest, I'm still working on those. I'll get back to you guys.
So now, I'll get into your first Crootin' Catch-Up of the New Year....
First off, I would just like to welcome you to the funnest recruiting month of the year. January can be a little crazy. Rumors, visits, flips, flops, announcements, and just about everything in between. The dead period has come to an end and this is the time of year that you can't believe everything you hear. This is when message board posters become recruiting "experts" and everyone has a "source" and everyone knows what is going on in every prospect's recruitment. The truth of the matter is that most of the kids that have yet to decide have no clue themselves what they are going to do. So just let what will happen, happen, and remember what I always tell you guys, this stuff is fluid and nothing is set in stone. Visits will be missed, new names will pop up, kids will commit to places they aren't supposed to commit to. Anything can happen in January.
Now to the Chris Jones rumors. Jones has been a guy that has blown away this week at the Under Armour All-American game practices. Some analysts have even went as far as to say he might be the best challenger to Robert Nkemdiche as the No. 1 player in the nation. Some have also said he has a higher ceiling than Nkemdiche. He has submitted himself as a consensus 5-star recruit. He also has picked up some "drama" in his recruitment. The only problem being, none of the drama is coming from him. People have come out and said that he will be making visits. The truth is that he has not said that. Now, he may end up taking visits, but that will be something we can only speculate on until he comes back from Orlando and talks to his parents. We will find out sooner rather than later if he will take visits. Even if he takes visits, that does not mean it is time to panic. He has a long-standing relationship with MSU's staff and that will be hard for other suitors to overtake with just over a month to signing day. Let this play out and know that it is a long shot for Chris Jones to land anywhere besides Starkville.
Now to some of the main players that MSU would like to get to fill the final spots: I listed names by position that MSU is still recruiting the hardest to fill the remaining spots last week in the Crootin' Catch-Up. This week I will tell you the hottest names out there that MSU is going after the hardest to fill the last few spots.
Elijah Daniel (#90) practices this week at the UA All-American Game - SBNation Recruiting (Bud Elliot)
- Ashton Shumpert - No surprise here. He has been a priority throughout the process and with the recent loss of Kailo Moore, it has become apparent that he is the most important recruit left on the board.
- Elijah Daniel - He is a big time recruit and impact defensive lineman. He plays DE now, but it has been said this week that he could bulk up and play some DT in college. Whether he ends up on the edge or the interior of a defensive line in college, he has all the tools to be an impact player. MSU covets that and is pursuing him hard.
- Mackensie and Mackenro Alexander - Mackensie is a big time cornerback and Mackenro is a very good Safety/Linebacker prospect. MSU is in the game for Mackenro, but Mackensie has a lot of big time suitors after him. They insist they won't be a package deal, but are taking all their visits together. It will be hard to pull them from the state of Florida, but MSU has made them a priority.
- De'Runnya Wilson - Gus Malzahn offered WIlson after taking the job at Auburn and there may be a Tennessee offer on the table, but WIlson has continued to list MSU at the top of his list. His visits will tell the tale and he will likely decide after them. MSU has made the need for another WR in this class obvious and Wilson is the guy that has been their top guy at that position for a while.
- Donald Gray - He is a guy that MSU likes in the slot, but he could play defensive back in college. His versatility makes him that much more important to MSU. He says that the only visit he knows of at this point is to Starkville. If Dan Mullen and company make a real move on him, he will be a part of the class.
- John O'Korn - he is picking up more interest as of late and MSU was one of the first to join that group of new suitors. MSU needs a back up plan to Cord Sandberg and O'korn seems to be that guy. He is a state championship winning quarterback in the highest level of competition in the state of Florida.
These are some of the guys that MSU is going after the hardest. It is likely that 4 of the 7 players listed above could end up at MSU. I expect no less than 3 of these guys to end up MSU. These players are important to topping off what is, to this point, a pretty complete class for MSU.
Next week, I will be listing all of the players that MSU is still recruiting and giving you guys a percentage chance that the player ends up at MSU. I hope you guys are looking forward to that and I hope your 2013 is going great so far.