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FWtCT Crootin' Catch Up - December 18, 2012

Get your recruiting fix right here with updates on Chris Jones, Lavon Hooks, Kailo Moore, Ashton Shumpert, Gabe Myles, and other Bulldog football recruiting targets.

New 5* and MSU commit Chris Jones showed out this week at MS-AL All Star practice
Kynon Codrington's Twitter (@RivalsKynon)

There was a good bit going on this week in the world of MSU sports, and particularly, in the world of MSU football recruiting. Let's get a quick look at what all took place this week:

MSU Football Recruiting Tidbits

  • As you guys know, I've been high on Chris Jones from the beginning. I've been telling y'all that he was going to be a big-timer for a while. One of the big news items this week with regards to MSU's 2013 recruiting class was that the Houston, MS MSU commit Chris Jones received his fifth star in 247's rankings this week. Jones' climb has been meteoric this fall, as he went from a two-star, under-the-radar recruit early in the year to now the second overall ranked defensive end and top-15 recruit in the country. Impressive scouting by Dan Mullen and company. Read more about Chris' week at the MS-AL All Star Game practice here.
  • MSU class rankings update - 247 [17, 11 composite], Rivals [27], Scout [12]
  • Obviously, the two names that MSU fans love to hear about the most are Kailo Moore and Ashton Shumpert. This week at the MS/AL all-star event, there was a lot of recruiting talk. Kailo said that he and Tony Conner would play college ball together. That is certainly interesting. More of Kailo saying a lot of nothing. Conner is considered to be an Ole Miss lean with Bama a close second. It is unlikely that Tony ends up at MSU, where Kailo maintains that he is firmly committed. Kailo is saying the right things to the media, however, this one will go down until the very end. A lot of drama to come here, I'm afraid. On Ashton, he said he had players tugging him to MSU and Ole Miss this week, but he isn't tipping his hand just yet. However, he has said he has a good idea of where he will be going. MSU is considered to be the favorite, but Ole Miss and Vanderbilt will make a push, you can bet.
  • For Kailo, he sat part of the week and played sparingly in the game this week at the MS/AL all star event. Ashton proved his versatility. He took reps at Safety and mostly at Running back. Many project him as a DB/LB and I tend to agree with them. Although, there is little question he would also make a heck of a running back.
  • Continuing with the MS/AL theme, the MS offensive line was not too solid this week. A line that featured some MSU commits (Mix, Thomas, Flowers). However, Kent Flowers showed many that he has the frame, feet, and athleticism to develop into a very good tackle at the next level. I'm of the belief that Flowers will develop and we will look back and consider him the best in-state OL of the class of 2013 in Mississippi.
  • Za'Darius Smith, the JUCO DE out of East Mississippi will sign Wednesday. He could commit anytime before then, however. At this time, I feel like A&M and MSU lead slightly. He sought an Auburn offer to remain close to home (originally from Alabama), but it doesn't appear to be coming. Ole Miss is probably on the outside looking in here. My guess would be MSU because of proximity, however, he did fall in love with Texas A&M on his visit.
  • Then there is Lavon Hooks, a 5* JUCO DT from Northeast Mississippi. He delayed his announcement on Monday. It was reportedly down to Ole Miss, Washington, and MSU. He has scheduled but skipped visits to Auburn and Miami. He had numerous offers and was highly sought after. Out of high school, he was placed at NECC by Ole Miss. Ole Miss had been considered the leader for a few weeks, and that didn't change after a midweek visit to Washington recently. MSU got in on things a few weeks ago when he quietly took a one-day unofficial visit to Starkville. MSU got in with him on Monday, when Hooks supposedly called the school. During the current recruiting dead period, only a recruit can contact the school, not vice versa. He now says he will announce today. I say Ole Miss, but MSU has made this really close lately. It will get interesting, his decision will likely not be final until he signs (he can sign on Wednesday).
  • Depending on how MSU does in the junior college December signing period (starts Wednesday), it will determine how active they are in junior college recruiting for the February signing period.
  • The NJCAA released its 2012 All-American teams earlier this week, and there were several names included that MSU is interested in. EMCC DB and MSU commit Justin Cox was named to the first team, while current targets Za' Darius Smith and Javess Blue were both named to the second team.
  • The Clarion-Ledger ran a story this week featuring MSU commit Gabe Myles and his desire to play QB at the next level. Myles is being recruited to State as a DB, but could we see him play some on offense as well? He certainly seems to hope so. He had an impressive showing at the MS/AL all-star game this week. He definitely has the athletic ability to be a corner at the next level. He compares, ironically, to Justin Cox coming out of high school. Cox was also a high school QB at West Point. His natural position was corner and that has served him well, so far. Myles may not be such a natural at corner, but with a redshirt, he should turn into a good one.
  • Courtesy of blog friend Derek Cody, here are highlights of recent Bulldog commits Corey Smith and Justin Cox, both of whom play for nearby EMCC.
  • A quick update on offensive lineman MSU commit Deon Mix, from 247 Sports ($).
  • Two weeks ago, MSU also received a commitment from Tyler Texas WR Jeremey Chappelle. Here are some highlights on him.
  • Biloxi (MS) HS WR Scott Austin (MSU commit) took a moment to talk with 247's Gerry Hamilton this week ($) about the MS-AL All-Star Game, his recruitment, and his development this year.
  • As you may recall, MSU received a couple of commitments in the last several weeks from players in the class of 2016. One of those players, Southlake Christian Academy WR Conner O'Donnell, was in Starkville this past weekend on an unofficial visit. That bit of news comes courtesy of Bulldawgs 247's player timeline.
  • Speaking of the Bulldawgs 247 player timeline, there were some new offers out this week to players in the 2014 class and beyond. Here's a quick rundown of those offers:
  • Offer - Corey Martinez | OG | 4* | 6'3" 295 lbs | Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Florida)
  • Offer - T.J. Harrell | RB/S | NR | 6'1" 210 lbs | Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Florida)
  • Offer - Dillon Bates | OLB | 4* | 6'3" 218 lbs | Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)
  • Offer - Johnathan Vickers | RB | 3* | 5'11" 205 lbs | North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Florida)
  • I'm sure you might have seen this this past week, but it's certainly worth another mention. Last weekend, Former Ole Miss / Auburn / Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville took the head coaching position at Cincinnati. And while everyone was shocked, I doubt anyone was as shocked as the recruits Tuberville was hosting Saturday night, who were left sitting at the table by Tuberville. That's right, ole "team year Tommy" left in the middle of dinner to head to Cincinnati. Now, why that is important to MSU is that two of those recruits - Sunny Odogwu and Javess Blue - were at that dinner. I have not seen any updates this week as to how that dine - and - ditch effected their thoughts of Texas Tech, but you'd have to wonder if it helps MSU at all. Of course, Tech has since hired offensive guru Kliff Kingsbury from Texas A&M, so that may temper some of the ill thoughts towards the school for Odogwu and Blue. Odugwu has long been an MSU target and it is unclear whether he will be able to get out in December. For Blue, it is unclear whether MSU will take another JUCO wide receiver now that Jeremy Chappelle and Corey Smith have jumped on board.
  • Speaking of Odogwu, the Clarion-Ledger ran an article on the JUCO offensive guard this week on how he loves the family atmosphere at MSU. The article talks in depth about Odogwu's recruitment. He's a big target for State - both literally and figuratively.
  • Jake Thomas - the four star offensive lineman MSU commit from nearby Columbus, has been named to the U19 Team USA squad for this year.
  • Lastly, I would like to bring to your attention two high school players that might add offers from MSU late, when they truly get an idea of who they will get and who will fill the last few scholarships left. Derrick Jones, the receiver from Eupora is one. He was the most impressive receiver for the Mississippi team at the MS/AL all-star event this past week. He is currently an Ole Miss commit, but Eupora is pretty close to Starkville and it would become even closer if he got that offer, if you know what I mean. The other player is Donald Gray of Memphis (White Station High School). He is a WR/DB and could add versatility to the class in the end. He visits in early January.

MSU Football Recruiting Commitment News

  • Tommy Sanders - Thought to be a possible, possible State commit at one time, Sanders has since delayed his decision date, and taken a visit to South Carolina. It appears as well that Sanders has dropped MSU from his final school choices list, and has added South Carolina. The LB from Butler CC will decide between Texas A&M, Ohio State, and South Carolina soon.
  • Carroll Washington - Despite a push by MSU over the past several weeks, Arkansas JUCO commit Carroll Washington decided to stick with his pledge to the Razorbacks, and plans to sign with Arkansas this week. Washington took a visit to Starkville several weeks ago, but after meeting with new Hogs coach Bret Bielema, decided to stay firm with his original decision.
  • Corey Smith - since we last spoke, the 4* WR from East Mississippi Community College committed to MSU over offers from Ohio State, and Tennessee, among many others.
  • Jeremey Chappelle - MSU also received a commitment from the talented Tyler (TX) CC wide receiver several weeks ago. Chappelle and Smith visited campus several weekends ago along with Washington, Justin Cox, and others.