Starting off this week, we must discuss junior college prospects. This is the recruiting storyline for MSU fans to follow up until February, as most of the big fish MSU are after are already on board or committed elsewhere. The junior college players will make up the large portion of the rest of the class.
JUCO big board:
Wide Receiver: This is the position that the Dawgs are most active with in the junior college ranks currently. Here are the prospects they covet most.:
1. Jonathon Rumph(Holmes CC)- Undeniably MSU's top target left at wide receiver. Rumph plays to decide soon and the bulldogs are in good position. Tennessee and Georgia have long been considered favorites and he recently visited Georgia. MSU is right in the mix and not many people are sure where he lands at this point. My guess is Tennessee, but don't count out Dan Mullen and company here. I wouldn't be surprised either way.
2. Javess Blue(Butler CC)- Blue would really be a nice addition to the MSU pass game. He originally signed with Texas Tech to be a part of their pass happy offense and now MSU is on him. There hasn't been much talk of him, but don't be surprised if he ends up in Starkville.
3. Jaelen Strong(Pierce CC)- A big-bodied, developed juco kid who has made the most of his juco career. I believe if and when MSU decides to go on him, you will see him on the commitment list for Dan Mullen and company.
4. Corey Smith(East Mississippi CC)- Has made a name for himself this year as he has made plays opposite former Ole Miss athlete, Nick Brassell. Ohio State has gotten on him and he is from Ohio, this option could be fading fast for MSU.
This is a story of three guys really at this point.
1. Toby Johnson(Hutchinson CC)- widely considered the top JUCO defensive line prospect. Recently injured, but still widely recruited. MSU has not been really serious about him, and he appears to not be serious about MSU, although he lived in Mississippi in his childhood. This could change if MSU turns up the heat.
2. Z'Darius Smith(East Mississippi CC)- a big-time pass rush defensive end. Lately things have slowed down for him and the bulldogs. He could be affected by MSU taking another JUCO defensive lineman. Auburn is putting all the have into him.
3. David Washington(Hinds CC)- Has all but committed to MSU. Originally signed with Kentucky and had been committed to Kentucky. He has long-liked MSU, as he took an official visit out of high school. His interest in MSU, as well as a coaching change at Kentucky caused him to open up his recruitment and name the Dawgs his leader. MSU will have to decide if there is room for him in the class.
- Lately things have heated up with MSU and Hargrave offensive lineman Sunny Odogwu. Teammates and bulldog commitments, Kivon Coman and Artimas Samuel, have really been in his ear about MSU and fallen through interest in Texas Tech and Texas A&M has really heated things up between him and MSU. MSU, even though they were thought to be done at the offensive line position, will likely take him.
- Zach Cunningham, a linebacker from Pinson, Alabama, has long been on MSU's radar. He has been in-line for an offer(if the Dawgs could find room). Ole Miss recently offered and now appears MSU will follow suit. He recently went from a non-ranked prospect to a 4-star on scout.com. He is a kid at 6-4 and 205, that has a frame you dream of at outside linebacker and the playmaking ability to match. Once he adds some weight, he could be a load to handle. Reminds me of current player, Benardrick McKinney.
- Justin Cox was rumored to be planning other visits, but since his commitment has decided to shut it down.
- Ashton Shumpert is considered an MSU lean at this point. He doesn't say a lot, but his actions speak for him. He visits Starkville a lot. This weekend, however, he is supposed to be headed to Oxford.
- Kailo Moore has recently stated publicly that he is 100 percent solid. This weekend, he is slated to be in Oxford. It is also believed, he will be in Oxford during the Egg Bowl. Folks, regardless of what he says, this is far from over. It was rumored that his mother was at an Ole Miss practice last week. I cannot confirm that, so merely take it for what it is worth. You will hear a lot about Kailo. Not each rumor is true, but folks, there is reason to be nervous about Kailo.
- USC cornerback commitment, Jalen Ramsey of Brentwood, Tennessee, is looking more and more like a soft commitment as the process goes on. It is believed that Nick Saban has taken over his recruitment for Alabama and Florida is on him hard. He set up an official visit with MSU for November 30th.
-Lately MSU commitments have battled knee injuries. Devante Scott, juco wideout from Co-Lin CC, Dezmond Harris a linebacker out of McCalla, Alabama, and Trent Simpson a defensive end from Oxford, Alabama have all injured their ACLs in the last few weeks. MSU will stick to their word with these young men, but do not count out possibilities of greyshirts to allow proper recovery time.
-MSU forward prospect, Tosin Mehinti of Decatur, Georgia, recently committed to UAB.
-MSU head coach Rick Ray was spotted at Tupelo High school again this week. It is believed he is watching Antonio Green, a super sophomore combo guard with a high ceiling and a kid who will receive a lot of high major interest. Ray is getting in on him hard, very early. A good sign.
-Rick Ray was also spotted at Itawamba CC. Watching the Indians who are now coached by Grant Pate(who left Tupelo to take the ICC job). He was likely evaluating a few players on this trip.