After today's Maroon and White game, Dan Mullen found himself making quite the recruiting haul by gaining four verbal commitments, all four of which were in state recruits. Now while these are just verbal commitments, it marks a huge day overall for the program in terms of adding quality in state talent, and shows that the recent additions to the coaching staff are paying off.
Four commits today for Mississippi State, 3 for 2017 1 for 2018. BIG day— Russell Johnson (@JohnsonERA13) April 16, 2016
The first 2017 commitment came from Ocean Springs three star wide receiver Austin Williams.
Ocean Springs WR Austin Williams has committed to Mississippi State— Steve Robertson (@ScoutSteveR) April 16, 2016
Williams is listed at 6'3 and 206 pounds and could help to add develop into a solid outside threat for the Bulldogs, as well as add more depth to a class where Mullen appears to be targeting several receiving threats. State already has commitments from 6'3, 224 pound tight end Ravian Pierce and receiver Monterio Hunt. Williams has added that he intends to help State recruit others, which could continue to help boost MSU's class.
State's second commit came from four star defensive end Aaron Odom.
Another 2017 commit for MSU today with the addition of 247Sports three-star defensive end Aaron Odom https://t.co/0NFqC57B0S— Paul Jones (@PJ247Sports) April 16, 2016
Odom measures in at 6'3 and 260 pounds. His commitment will help the Bulldogs add depth to the defensive line, a position group that has seen plenty of development recently. The shift to a 3-4 scheme will change things up a bit for the Bulldogs, but Odom's size will allow him to be fairly versatile in Peter Sirmon's scheme. Odom is the third defensive lineman in this recruiting cycle to commit to state but is the only one ranked thus far.
The third commit for the 2017 class was Pascagoula native Paul Gainer.
Another one for MSU. Gautier offensive tackle Paul Gainer who I think will be a big time guy this year. https://t.co/CA7m0WSEPl— Robbie Faulk (@robbiefaulk247) April 16, 2016
Gainer is currently unranked, but weighs in at an impressive 6'5 and 290 pounds. Gainer will likely bring depth to a position that has seen plenty of ups and downs in Mullen's stint so far at Mississippi State. A notable part of last year's losses were due to the offensive line struggling against the better defensive lines in the SEC. Gainer's size and potential may be able to help resolve some of those issues.
The fourth overall commit, the first for the 2018 class was four star receiver Malik Heath
Callaway 2018 WR Malik Heath has committed to Mississippi State— Steve Robertson (@ScoutSteveR) April 16, 2016
Heath is still a decent ways out from his signing day, but earning his verbal commit is huge for Mullen and his staff. The 2018 commit is 6'3 and weighs 194 pounds. The addition of Heath would give Dan Mullen's offense yet another deep threat for whomever is throwing the ball for the maroon and white at that time.
According to Steve Robertson, all four of the recruits that committed today were attendees at MSU's 2016 junior day. Dan Mullen has had his eye on these recruits for a while now, and if he can keep them, he'll have added four players that he's wanted to come to Starkville.
Gaining these commits is big for many reasons, but one notable one being that there was a lot of concern that the turnover on the coaching staff would prevent Mullen from gaining the interest of in state recruits. It seems, however, that this is not the case. It'll be interesting to track these recruits through the rest of this recruiting cycle (and the next for Malik Heath).