Mississippi State Football: Wrapping up the 2021 recruiting class

Head coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Head coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Mississippi State Football: Several spots still available as signing day nears

Mike Leach and his staff officially added 19 Bulldogs on Early Signing Day back in December. Since then, ATH Jay Hampton (Amory, MS) signed his letter of intent to MSU, and 4-star DE Deonte Anderson (Fort Meade, FL) announced his intentions to play for Mississippi State at the All-American Bowl.

MSU also went to the transfer portal and grabbed a big-time impact receiver for the Air Raid. Former Cal WR Makai Polk committed to Mississippi State after emerging as one of Cal’s biggest downfield threats in 2020. Polk is listed 6’3”, 200-pounds, and has three years of eligibility left.

That leaves the Bulldogs with four spots remaining in the 2021 class. The class currently ranks 34th in the nation, according to 247Sports. Even after enduring several late flips, State has put itself back in a position to finish with a solid haul in Mike Leach’s first full recruiting class.

Defensive back is the main position of need in this class for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs’ secondary was depleted throughout the 2020 season due to injuries and opt-outs. Depth became an issue as the season progressed, and Leach and his staff will need to address that as they finish up the 2021 class.

Remaining Targets

3-star DE Ty Cooper (Louisville, MS)

Cooper is the most likely remaining prospect left to end up in maroon and white. He is listed at 6’4”-245 pounds and would help out at a position of need after Marquiss Spencer and Kobe Jones depart the program. Cooper was named as 4A’s Mr. Football this season.

3-star ATH Calvin Johnson II (French Camp, MS)

Johnson was relatively unknown until a few months ago when his recruitment began to pick up steam. Since then, Mississippi State has made a strong push to land the former Navy commit, and he will more than likely play defense if he ends up in Starkville. Northwestern and Duke are also trying to land Johnson.

4-star RB Ke’Travion Hargrove (Ruston, LA)

Hargrove is listed as the no. 261 player and 14th-best running back in the nation, according to 247Sports. Mississippi State recently extended an offer and has become the favorite to land the talented running back. Penn State and South Carolina seem to be the competition for MSU regarding landing Hargrove, who is announcing his commitment on January 27.

DB Eddie Smith (Slidell, LA – Alabama)

Mississippi State was the team to beat for Smith back in 2018 before a late offer by the Crimson Tide was enough to stir him to Tuscaloosa. After limited action in his first three seasons, Smith hits the transfer portal as a redshirt sophomore. Mississippi State will definitely contact the former 3-star DB, but whether or not he ends up in Starkville remains to be seen.

DB Adam Sparks (Geismar, LA – Missouri)

Sparks has had several productive years in Columbia before deciding to transfer for one last season. He finished with 99 tackles and three interceptions in four seasons at Mizzou. Sparks is listed at 6’0”-170 pounds and could help out in the secondary immediately. Sparks is a guy to watch for because of his SEC experience.

CB TJ Carter (Nashville, TN – Memphis)

Carter is probably the least likely on this list to end up in Starkville next season, but he is a name worth mentioning. He started four years at cornerback for the Tigers and was named a 2017 Freshman All-American. Even though his production dropped off a bit, Carter still started in five of Memphis’s seven games this year and was a leader in the secondary. Carter recorded 187 tackles and seven interceptions in a Memphis Tiger uniform.