New MSU commit Tolando Cleveland with Donald Gray and Rocky Felker - Tolando Cleveland's Twitter (@Derrex10)
We take a look at some of the happenings around the world of MSU football recruiting in the final weekend before national signing day.
The final weekend before the 2013 national signing day has come and gone, and there were of course developments regarding MSU's soon to be signing class. Let's get you caught up on what all took place this weekend.
- Chris Jones traveled this weekend. Chris Jones was everywhere this weekend. Oxford (?). Maybe Starkville, definitely. Tokyo? Possibly. We don't know where all he was this weekend, but we do know that he and his family were busy. Jones' recruitment continues to be fascinating and heartburn inducing for some fans. It seems that no one is quite sure where he will sign Wednesday, but most are ready to know either way. Even the ever-sunshine pumping Yancy at OM Spirit isn't confident enough to predict Jones to OM. And that's saying something.
- MSU hosted a trio of official visitors this weekend in recent commit Tolando Cleveland, South Panola safety Tony Conner, and Memphis athlete and MSU Donald Gray. Cleveland decided to visit after flipping his commitment to MSU from Georgia Tech this past week. Conner came on his scheduled visit that he planned after MSU hired Deshea Townsend, a fellow Batesville native. Tony unfortunately had to leave his visit early due to a family emergency. Hopefully everything worked out okay for Tony's family. Tony was a visitor of interest for MSU this weekend, just in the fact that many didn't know if he would show. But Conner did make it for his visit, and even though odds are small that he signs with State, getting him on campus was a big win for the coaching staff. Conner, like Shumpert, has played his recruitment very close to the chest, and has said little about his intentions on NSD. That quietness was the case surrounding his visit this weekend as well, as we know very little of his thoughts on MSU. I still expect Tony to sign with Alabama, or possibly Ole Miss. Donald Gray was also on his scheduled visit after he committed to MSU in January. In addition to the official visitors on campus this weekend, MSU commit Ashton Shumpert, as well as Chris Jones, were on campus to meet with the staff, and Jones also took in the basketball game Saturday afternoon.
- Hutchinson C.C DT Toby Johnson, a big remaining MSU target both figuratively and literally, took his visit to Auburn this past weekend. Although Johnson told Auburn reporters ($) that he enjoyed his visit, it's important to note that he did not commit to the Tigers, nor did he name them his leader. This doesn't necessarily point to MSU as a leader, it just shows that he will take his final visit, to MSU, before he makes his decision. That's a good sign, as some wondered if Johnson may pick Auburn and not even make his MSU visit. Last week, the plan was for Johnson to make his MSU visit this upcoming weekend and then decide on February 13th, but the 247 story linked above says that Johnson will visit MSU February 15th then decide on the 19th. I'm not sure which it will be, but we will update you when we know.
- Another big MSU target, former commitment Deon Mix, also took in a visit to Auburn this weekend. Mix talked with Auburn reporters ($) as well, and it appears he came away from his visit impressed. Mix notes that MSU still has the edge, but it's clear that he enjoyed Auburn. It seems like many still expect him to sign with State Wednesday, which is good news for this class. After a disagreement caused Mix to decommit, it would be nice to be able to add him back in NSD for this class. Mix says that he will announce Wednesday at 10.
- It looks like we may know Tyler, Texas WR Fred Ross' decision earlier than Wednesday. At least two reporters, Bulldawg247's Paul Jones and the Clarion-Ledger's Brandon Marcello, report that Ross' decision could come as early as tonight or tomorrow. A good deal of the recruiting writers around MSU say that they feel good about MSU's chances, but will the late push be enough to flip Ross? He's been committed to Oklahoma State since last February, so it won't be easy. But, with the family and friends connection, coupled with a chance to potentially play early, one can hope that MSU offers enough for Ross to make the flip. We should know soon.
- A good read today from ESPN on MSU targets Mackensie and Mackenro Alexander from Immokalee, Florida. Well worth a few minutes of your time.