STARKVILLE • Mississippi State’s football team might be off today but the Bulldogs’ coaching staff is hard at work on the recruiting trail and have been for the past few days.
Coach Joe Moorhead and his staff have been on the road scouring the Southeast and beyond since practice concluded on Wednesday in an effort to bring in the best prospects they possibly can.
“My staff is forged with the task that your recruiting ability is just as important as your coaching ability,” Moorhead said. “I would find it hard-pressed to believe that there is another head coach in the country with the personal involvement that I have with every one of our top prospects with the kids, their parents and communication on a daily basis.”
According to a July report from Stadium, MSU ranked No. 49 nationally in money spent on football recruiting in 2018. The Bulldogs’ spent $453,116 but still managed to sign the No. 24 recruiting class in the country.
Georgia ($2.6 million), Alabama ($2.3 million), Texas A&M ($1.7 million), LSU ($1.3 million), Florida ($1.2 million), Auburn ($1.1 million), South Carolina ($861,747), Kentucky ($791,863), Ole Miss ($704,836) and Missouri ($685,834) all spent more on recruiting than the Bulldogs did during the 2018 fiscal year.
“We need to differentiate ourselves because of maybe not having some of the bells and whistles or winning tradition,” Moorhead said. “You have to do something to outwork people in that regard. Myself and our staff have made the full commitment that we are not going to use any excuse in recruiting. We are going to go after the best of the best. We may miss some, but we are going to hit some more than we miss.”
State currently has 23 commitments in its 2020 class and is rated 20th nationally and eighth in the SEC by 247Sports.com. Six of those pledges – running back Jo’Quavious Marks, athletes Lideatrick Griffin and Dillon Johnson, defensive end Jordan Davis, cornerback Emmanuel Forbes and wide receiver Malik Heath – are all rated as four-star prospects.
“You can see the impact that this year’s class is having on the field,” Moorhead said. “We feel great about the guys we have committed.”
There was some concern among Mississippi State fans when Moorhead was hired about his ability to recruit in the South since all his previous coaching experience had been north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
But Moorhead seems to have adapted quite well to his new surroundings and inked 27 prospects from Mississippi programs among his 44 signees in the past two classes.
That pipeline has continued in this upcoming class with 20 of the Bulldogs’ 23 commitments hailing from schools in the Magnolia State.
“People in Mississippi can see through B.S. and they can sense genuine,” Moorhead said. “I think the coaches, the players and the families, they see that, and they also see the wonderful opportunity there is at Mississippi State.”