Jeff Lebby built strong Mississippi State football recruiting class in a hurry

Jeff Lebby didn't have much time to get a recruiting class together, but he and the Mississippi State Bulldogs built a pretty solid group of Mississippi State football signees for the 2024 class.

Nov 1, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot cheer with the fans during the
Nov 1, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot cheer with the fans during the / Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

When Jeff Lebby took over as the head coach of the Mississippi State football program just a few weeks ago, he faced an uphill battle in recruiting. It wasn't quite a crisis, but it wasn't a great situation for the new head coach of the MSU Bulldogs. Miss. State was struggling on the recruiting trail under its previous head coach and the start of the early signing period loomed.

Mississippi State football fans had reasons to be optimistic because of Lebby's recruiting pedigree and his experience in helping rebuild other programs, but cautious optimism was the best way forward given how the Bulldogs were having issues recruiting.

So, Lebby put an emphasis on connecting with as many recruits as he possibly could all while building his coaching staff. And according to the new head coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Lebby and his staff went on a bit of a blitz of phone calls to connect with prospects on a daily basis.

As Lebby notes, building relationships became Lebby's first priority. When he was asked what went into the development of this recruiting class, Lebby explained that time was pretty important.

"Time as much as we can can possibly give it. So again just trying to make up for some lost time, you know," Lebby acknowledged. "It was something that was important to us from a relationship standpoint."

And to do all of that in the span of a handful of weeks? Well, that's tough to do. But, according to Lebby, the Bulldogs' coaching staff was committed to staying in touch with the recruits they wanted to bring to Starkville.

"Being around these guys, talking to these guys, being on FaceTime non-stop, so that there is that connection. It is something that, you know, has helped us get to this point today," Lebby stated.

Recruiting seems to often be about the establishment of relationships. And that sort of constant contact apparently paid off as the Bulldogs were able to get a number of key recruits to sign that they're on their way to Starkville.

That includes keeping recruits that were already in the class, committed to the Bulldogs when Zach Arnett was the head coach, and it also includes getting recruits that were brand new to the Bulldogs' recruiting radar.

A lot of changes were made within the Bulldogs' recruiting class. The Bulldogs were able to pull in a bunch of transfers in a hurry (Blake Shapen, Kelly Akharaiyi, Marlon Martinez, Cameron Ball, etc.), and talented recruits like Ricky Johnson, Cyrus Reyes, Johnnie Daniels, and others committed to join the Jeff Lebby's Mississippi State football team.

Lebby's recruiting tactics worked in a hurry. It'll be interesting to see what he is able to do when he has more time to fully build a recruiting class.