Ashton Shumpert has been a name that fans of high school football in Mississippi have known for about three years. Since last spring, his name has become a hot name around regional recruiting circles. He is known for being a dominant high school running back, but also with the body structure and athletic ability to end up at safety or linebacker on defense at the next level.
He was heavily recruited to play running back by programs such as Vanderbilt, Georgia, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, and of course the two in-state SEC schools. He played his freshman season at Itawamba Agricultural High School, before transferring to Tupelo to play his sophomore and junior season. Last summer he decided to transfer back to Itawamba to finish his high school career. He lead the Indians to the third round of the playoffs before losing to Noxubee this past season.
Although Shumpert was heavily pursued, and flirted with Georgia throughout the process (his father lives in Georgia and he called them at one point a childhood favorite), his decision came down to Mississippi State and Ole Miss. He really liked the idea of being the only back in MSU's recruiting class and knew that Ole Miss was bringing in some other backs. He knew that Ole Miss would be quicker on the trigger to switch him over to defense. He knows he will have time to develop and become a very good running back at MSU. I feel this is what set his decision over the edge.
In my recruiting updates I have made it clear in the last few weeks how important Shumpert was to MSU in finishing out the 2013 class. This is a recruiting win, but more importantly a huge pick up for the MSU backfield for next season.
Shumpert is the 6th member of the Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen to commit to MSU. He was also a participant in the MS/AL all-star game last month. He was also named the 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi.
MSU has now landed their running back and their biggest target left on the board. They will likely add a few more players to this class, but Shumpert is the piece they needed to finish strong. Hats off to Dan Mullen and his staff with what how the season ended and the loss of two staff members recently. This will help get the momentum to start swinging back in their favor.