How Will the 2014 Signing Class Fit into MSU’s Roster?

Oct 27, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Jamerson Love (24) prior to the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

For a while now I’ve been wanting to write this piece. For my own benefit as much as any. Ever since I ran across the numbers to discover only a handful of seniors on the 2013 football team I’ve wondered how the 2014 class would fit into the roster. There has been very little attrition over the years – a credit to Mullen and his staff. The roster really looks good, with solid players throughout. Let’s take a look at how this could shake out.

First we’ve got to figure out who took up a scholarship on the 2013 roster…

Quarterbacks

1. Dak Prescott, RSo.
2. Tyler Russell, RSr. (eligibility)
3. Damian Williams, Fr.

Running Backs

4. LaDarius Perkins, RSr. (eligibility)
5. Josh Robinson, RSo.
6. Ashton Shumpert, Fr.
7. Nick Griffin, RJr.
8. Derrick Milton, RSo. (transfer)

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

9. Jameon Lewis, RJr.
10. Robert Johnson, RJr.
11. Joe Morrow, RSo.
12. Malcolm Johnson, RJr.
13. D’Runnya Wilson, Fr.
14. Fred Brown, RFr.
15. Jeremy Chappelle, Jr.
16. Fred Ross, Fr.
17. Brandon Holloway, RFr.
18. Shelby Christy, Fr. (redshirt)
19. B.J. Hammond, Fr. (redshirt)
20. Artimus Samuel, Fr.
21. Rufus Warren, RSo.
22. Brandon Hill, RSo.
23. Gus Walley, RFr. (potential medical redshirt)

Offensive Line

24. Blaine Claussell, RJr.
25. Gabe Jackson, RSr. (eligibility)
26. Dillon Day, RJr.
27. Justin Malone, RSo. (potential medical redshirt)
28. Charles Siddoway, Sr. (eligibility)
29. Ben Beckwith, RJr.
30. Jamaal Clayborn, Fr.
31. Dylan Holley, Sr. (eligibility)
32. Cole Carter, RFr.
33. Devon Desper, RFr.
34. Archie Muniz, RJr.
35. Tobias Smith, RSr. (eligibility)
36. Justin Senior, Fr.
37. Damien Robinson, RJr.
38. Kent Flowers, Fr. (redshirt)
39. Jake Thomas, Fr. (redshirt)

Defensive Line

40. Denico Autry, Sr. (eligibility)
41. Kaleb Eulls, RJr.
42. P.J. Jones, Jr.
43. Preston Smith, Jr.
44. Chris Jones, Fr.
45. Nelson Adams, RFr.
46. Jordan Washington, RFr. (potential medical redshirt)
47. Ryan Brown, So.
48. Torrey Dale, RFr.
49. Quay Evans, So.
50. Nick James, So. (redshirt)
51. A.J. Jefferson, RFr.
52. Corvell Gay-Harrison, Sr. (eligibility)
53. John Harris, RSo.
54. Curtis Virges, RJr.
55. Trent Simpson, Fr. (redshirt)

Linebackers

56. Deontae Skinner, RSr. (eligibility)
57. Benardrick McKinney, RSo.
58. Matthew Wells, RJr.
59. Richie Brown, RFr.
60. Beniquez Brown, RFr.
61. Zach Jackson, RSo.
62. Ferlando Bohanna, RJr. (career ending head injury)
63. Dezmond Harris, Fr. (redshirt)

Secondary

64. Jamerson Love, RJr.
65. Nickoe Whitley, RSr. (eligibility)
66. Dee Arrington, Jr. (potential redshirt after only playing in 3 games due to injury)
67. Jay Hughes, RJr. (potential medical redshirt)
68. Taveze Calhoun, RSo.
69. Kendrick Market, RSo.
70. Justin Cox, Jr.
71. Will Redmond, So.
72. Deontay Evans, RFr.
73. Kivon Coman, Fr.
74. Tolando Cleveland, Fr.
75. Cedric Jiles, RFr.
76. Jahmere Irvin-Sills, Fr. (redshirt)
77. Quadry Antoine, RFr.

Jack of all trades

78. Christian Holmes, RJr.
79. Gabe Myles, Fr. (redshirt)
80. Brandon Wells, Fr. (redshirt)

Specialist

81. Baker Swedenburg, RS (eligbility)
82. Devon Bell, So.

That’s 82 players that I’m 98% sure had a scholarship in 2013. The only ones that may not have are Ben Beckwith (former walk-on) and Tobias Smith who was basically a coach in his 6th year of eligibility. But MSU had 83 to offer last fall (probation) so I would assume at least Smith received one. The only other player who may have had a scholarship (I doubt it though) is Evan Sobiesk (kicker).

Now, we all know about the probation levied by the NCAA last summer. In that there were four scholarship reductions – two per year. MSU had already self-imposed two scholarships for the 2012 season, so the two missing from 2013 complete that portion of the probation. We are free and clear to use 85 scholarships for the 2014 season. With that in mind we continue…

  • Mississippi State currently has 18 commitments….including juco transfer Jocquell Johnson who has already signed
  • There were 13 players listed above with strike-through’s on their name, so there will be 13 less scholarships on the team (82 – 13 = 69)
  • 69 scholarship players + 18 players signed = 87…..too many

The 2014 class is not finished. MSU is still looking for more talent. So how many will sign: 20, 22? If so, that 87 could reach 90 or more.

There are always defections, bad grades, runners, you name it. You can basically count on at least two or three players leaving the team each year for whatever reason. But if MSU signs, say, 22 players in February that would put us at 91. We’d be counting on six players leaving? That’s an awful lot. Even if it’s only four or five that is a lot to count on.

This spring looks like it may be the battle to keep your scholarship for some players. As you know, scholarships are only good for one year, so “processing” is something that happens from time to time to make room. Derrick Milton has already left the program so there’s one spot that won’t have to be cut. Who else could be on the chopping block?

We have to assume that all true freshman in 2013 would be safe. Unless you’re just a malcontent there’s no use in getting rid of a player before they’ve had a chance to do anything. Most sophomores would fall into this category as well….except for two highly talented guys who have had their issues: Quay Evans and Nick James.

Moving on to other players – Curtis Virges might be one as well. He played in 11 games this year but didn’t do much – only 9 tackles as a redshirt junior. But he did record 2.5 TFL, a sack and a QB hurry. Also on the defense is John Harris. He was only a redshirt sophomore in 2013 but didn’t show much – only one tackle in three games played.

On offense, could it be time for Damian Robinson? He came to MSU as a 4-star from Olive Branch but has basically been a bust as far as that rating goes. His saving grace might be State’s lack of depth at tackle. Archie Muniz is another one on the OL that has done very little as well. I hate to suggest cutting a player after a major injury, but Gus Walley could be in trouble at a loaded TE position. He is a guy whose recruitment was a little shaky to begin with, and it’s hard to see him ever seeing much of the field, especially with the emergence of Artimus Samuel.

Out of those seven names, I feel like at least two of them won’t be on the team in 2014. The good news is this program has a rock solid roster with some good talent and high character individuals. The bad news is there are only 85 spots, and this is one of the tough jobs a coach has to do.

Topics: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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