Dan Mullen does not recruit based on a player’s star level
People hear Mullen say this all the time, and most just roll their eyes because they think it is mostly just BS. But if you ever listen to Mullen or read what he says to reporters, you’ll know he’s telling the truth.
One misconception about Mullen is that he evaluates prospects differently than other coaches. That’s not true. He sees all the potential in five star prospects as every other coach, but just because a player is so highly rated, it doesn’t mean he’ll fit into what Dan Mullen wants.
Joel Coleman of the Starkville Daily News ran this in his blog the night before National Signing Day. This quote from Mullen really stuck out to me.
"“One of the things we want to try to do is stick with what we believe and how we evaluate players,” Mullen said late last year. “It doesn’t mean we don’t want 5-star players. We want everybody to be a 5-star player in our mind, but we also want guys that aren’t satisfied where they are.”"
In his press conference after all the players had sent in their LOIs, Mullen said not every player is right for their program. If a five star player is going to play for Mississippi State football team, he’s going to have to buy into the same recruiting pitch the three star player is given. When you have 85 players on a team, you have to be able to manage personalities, and players who want Mullen to tell them how great they are going to make the Mississippi State football team will never jive with Mullen’s coaching philosophy.
Will Mullen ever be able to win the SEC West with this approach? He hasn’t yet, but he did come close in 2014. Mullen’s method of recruiting is not likely to give the Bulldogs a chance to compete every season for the West, but it can provide windows of opportunity every three to four years.
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