Mississippi State’s Alabama Boys Return Home


Growing up in the state of Alabama it’s pretty simple if you ask anyone who’s from there.  You have to make a choice early in life and sometimes that choice is made for you by your family; you either pick Auburn or Alabama.  There is no in between, there is no other choice – it’s one or the other.

As kids grow up in the state of Alabama, they aspire to one day either play for the Crimson Tide or the Auburn Tigers.

Alabama and Auburn typically get the cream of the crop within the state of Alabama and with only so many scholarships available, many kids are over-looked, left to look elsewhere to continue playing the game of football.

Eleven Alabama natives who either decided to go elsewhere or were over-looked return to their home state this weekend as Mississippi State Bulldogs and a part of the number-one team in the country.

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and his staff have embraced player evaluation, player development and getting the most out of everyone they recruit.  More times than not, people have laughed at the Bulldogs recruiting over the years, but no one is laughing anymore as the Bulldogs have held the Nation’s number-one ranking for the last month.

For the Bulldogs to continue to hang on to the Nation’s top spot, they must win this weekend against No. 3 Alabama, on the road and a big part of that success will hinge on the play of many Bulldogs from the Oak-Leaf state.

Nov 8, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; UT Martin Skyhawks quarterback Dylan Favre (1) scrambles out of the pocket under pressure from Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Beniquez Brown (42) during the third quarter at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs are seeing mass production this football season across the board and a lot of that production is from those players from the State of Alabama.

De’Runnya Wilson is the team’s leading receiver with 367-receiving yards and 6-touchdowns.  The Birmingham native needs a big day Saturday to give his team a shot to knock off the Tide.

Malcolm Johnson is a Tuscaloosa native and been a big part of MSU’s offense over the years at tight end and would love to end his Bulldog career by going back home and beating Alabama.

Blaine Clausell will be a big part of what Mississippi State can or cannot do along the offensive line.

Beniquez Brown (Florence, AL) is the second leading tackler on the Bulldogs team and Kivon Coman has been a force in the secondary for the Bulldogs.

For the 11-Alabama natives that are now Bulldogs this game is more than just a game to continue as the number one team in the country though.  This is a chance for each of them to show their home state what they can do and why they should regret letting them get out of the state of Alabama.

The average star rating out of high school for the 11- Bulldogs was a 3-star.  Benny Brown was the highest rated Bulldog coming out of high school as a 4-star per multiple outlets.

To say these guys will be playing with a chip on their shoulder Saturday is an understatement.

The stakes are high and fireworks will be on display at 2:30 pm Saturday as Mississippi State takes on Alabama at Bryant Denny Stadium.

For the Bulldogs it’s another chance to show the football world they belong at the top, and for 11-native Alabamians it’s an opportunity to show their home state what they can do and what they missed out on by letting them get out of state.

Current Bulldog Football Players from the State of Alabama and their high school recruiting ranking:

De’Runnya Wilson 3-star Birmingham, AL

Malcolm Johnson 3-star Tuscaloosa, AL

Kivon Coman 3-star Sheffield, AL

DeAndre Ward 2-star Wetumpka, AL

Cory Thomas 3-star Bessemer, AL

Winston Chapman 2-star Fairhope, AL

Beniquez Brown 4-star Florence, AL

Dez Harris 3-star McCalla, AL

Blaine Clausell 2-star Mobile, AL

BJ Hammond 3-star Gadsden, AL

Braxton Hoyett 3-star Pelham, AL