Coach Moorhead is already changing Mississippi State football in a positive way.
Things seem to be changing around the Mississippi State football program and in a good way. After taking over as head coach just a few weeks before early signing day, Moorhead was able to hold the forces together and bring in a solid 2018 signing class. One would think that after nine years under Dan Mullen, aka the Adidas shoe model, who established Mississippi State football as a solid opponent in the SEC West, that there would be some distraught fans when he chose to leave for the Florida job. But, that was not the case here in Starkville where hundreds of fans rushed to meet the new coach, Joe Moorhead, at the Starkville airport just three days later.
Coach Moorhead has had positive effect on the Mississippi State Football program in a short period of time. Since his arrival, the expectations have grown and the mentality has changed for Bulldog players and fans alike. I think the reason for this is because he is a person that people can relate too and he does not come off as a salesperson but rather a person who truly believes in what he is saying. Looking at the results of this year’s signing class, so did the players and family members that he visited.
The 2018 signing class is a good one and gives the Bulldogs a much needed outside threat at the receiving position with three 4 star receivers. The Bulldogs also found a diamond in the rough, with three star running back La’damian Webb; he is a Josh Robinson style running back with better speed and vision. Webb is the most under rated player in this year’s class. The most important aspect of this year’s signing class is the quality of depth it adds to several key positions with the exception one, the offensive line. That’s why I wanted to give a snap shot of where the Bulldogs currently stand with the offensive line and why there is nothing to worry about going forward.
First and foremost, State has only signed 23 players at this point leaving two available 2018 recruiting slots. With that being said, there just so happens to be two quality offensive linemen interested in the Bulldogs that did not sign on NSD. One of them is a four star offensive center Tyrone Sampson Jr., from Michigan. He is ranked seventh in the nation at that position. The second is a three star offensive tackle, Jalan Robinson, from Kansas. Both are quality offensive lineman and could still be added to the 2018 signing class.
Another aspect is where the Bulldogs currently stand with the offensive line from last season. Based off of the 2017 roster, the Bulldogs have 13 returning offensive lineman and two signees in, Kwatrivous Johnson and Kameron Jones. Of the returning lineman, four have lettered and two have JUCO experience. The only difference in this year’s line and next year’s group will be the loss of senior, Martinas Rankin, to the NFL draft. It is important to note that Rankin missed four games last year due to injury showing the depth at that position. So, the 2018 season looks fine with plenty of depth. In the upcoming recruiting cycles there will be much more focus toward the offensive line in both high school recruits and Junior college transfers. Another option is the new graduate transfer rule, which allows graduates to transfer to another program if they have eligibility remaining. So, don’t worry about the offensive line if will be fine, just get ready for one hail of a ride in 2018.