On Friday, Lashard Durr of Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Mississippi and Chris Rayford of Byhalia High School in Byhalia, Mississippi each committed to Mississippi State. Each prospect is projected to be a cornerback at the next level. Durr is a prototypical cover corner, while Rayford is a bigger corner that will be able to be physical, as well as having the speed to run step for step with just about any receiver.
Durr is listed at 5-11 180 pounds. He held offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and interest from Alabama. He is rated as a three star corner and an 85 by 247sports. 247sports ranks Durr as the 69th best corner in the country. Scout and Rivals have both yet to rank Durr.
Rayford is listed at 6-1 200 pounds. He chose MSU over interest from Memphis, Ole Miss and Southern Miss. 247sports ranks Rayford as a three star and an 84, while ranking him as the 82nd best corner in the nation. Scout and Rivals have also yet to rank Rayford either.
My take on Rayford and Durr
In my opinion, Rayford is the bigger pickup of the two commitments. I say that not to take anything away from Durr, because I feel like he is a solid player in his own right. If you saw my recent Top 25 prospects in Mississippi list, you might have noticed that neither of these two are on the list. That is because this is a deep year inside the State for defensive backs. Rayford and Durr each have elite speed and that should be a useful tool for each in adapting to the next level.
Rayford will be a guy that can play man coverage because he can be physical at the line of scrimmage with bigger wideouts and his size will allow him to go up and challenge the bigger receivers on jump balls and redzone plays as well. I love Rayford's combination of size and speed. Rayford is also a guy that could move over to safety if needed because of his size. He will only add more weight once he hits a college weight room.
Durr is a guy that has speed and will be a guy that you can leave on an island to play man to man coverage and he will be able to run with any wide receiver. Durr will benefit from getting into a college weight room.
Each of these guys have been overlooked a bit inside the state, but with camp season approaching, I think you could see that change as they will likely put up measurables and 40 times that will impress. Good job by Dan Mullen and staff of identifying and locking up talent early. A lot of the credit on these two commits goes to Deshea Townsend.
Another note on Durr is that his teammate, Tito Windham, an Oklahoma commitment, could reconsider his decision and possibly begin to consider staying home and playing for MSU, as Windham and Durr are very close friends and have often talked of playing together on the next level. Windham might have to camp to earn an offer, however, as he holds offers from Florida State and Louisiana-Lafayette currently.