J.Short Rates The Class (1-5)

 My ratings are based on the players’ immediate impact, long-term impact, and overall potential.

Terms To Remember

X-Receiver (Split End)

Z-Receiver (Flanker)

H-Back (Slot Receiver)

One-Technique Defensive Tackle (DT aligned between guard and center)

Three-Technique Defensive Tackle (DT aligned between guard and tackle)

Will Linebacker (Weak Side Linebacker)

Mike Linebacker (Middle Linebacker)

Sam Linebacker (Strong Side Linebacker)

Field Cornerback (MSU’s Man-to-Man Corner)

Boundary Cornerback (Zone Cornerback)

1. Denico Autry | Scooba, MS (EastMississippiCommunity College)

Size: 6’5″, 245

Primary Position: Weakside Defensive End

Secondary Position: Linebacker

2011 Stats: 81 Tkls. 13 TFL 11 Scks.

Strengths

+ Pass Rush Skills
+ Change Of Direction
+ Aggression

Weaknesses

– Hands

Player Breakdown: Autry was an easy choice as the top player in the class. He brings something the Bulldogs have been lacking for years – a legit pass rusher.  The freakish Defensive End is a player I consider a one-year talent. He could have a monster Junior year and enter the NFL draft in 2013.  Autry does need to adjust to playing against SEC offenses, but I think he will do that fairly quickly.

Immediate Role: Starting Weakside Defensive End

Max Potential: All-American Defensive End

2a. Quay Evans | Morton, MS (Morton HS)

Size: 6’2″, 315

Primary Position: Defensive Tackle

Secondary Position: None

2011 Stats: 68 Tkls. 9 TFL 4.5 Sks.

 Strengths

+ Explosion
+ Speed
+ Raw Strength

Weaknesses

– Raw
– Versatility

Player Breakdown: Quay gets the tie for number two in my rankings because of the cache the massive Defensive Tackles brings and his potential to dominate in the SEC.  I originally projected that Evans would redshirt before he enrolled for the spring semester. He should now advance to the point where he will back up Josh Boyd at the one-technique Defensive Tackle.  Evans could eventually, if he develops, become an elite SEC Defensive Tackle. I don’t think he will be as versatile as a Fletcher Cox, but he will make it difficult to run on the Bulldogs for the next four years.

Immediate Role: Back Up One-Technique Defensive Tackle

Max Potential: All-American Defensive Tackle

2b. Brandon Holloway | Tampa, FL (Alonso HS)

Size: 5’9″, 165

Primary Position: H-Back

Secondary Position: Running Back, Return Specialist

2011 Stats: 134-904 Ru. Yards 10 TD 19-304 Rec. Yards

 Strengths

+Electric Speed
+Elusiveness
+ Dynamic

Weaknesses

– Size
– Hands

Player Breakdown: Brandon Holloway is, to put it simply, a game-changer. He is the dynamic playmaker the Bulldogs have been missing. The Bulldogs already have Jameon Lewis, who is a playmaker, but this kid speed sets him apart.  The speedster will likely be used as a Return Specialist as a Freshman, but he will be one of the focal points of the offense, along with Lewis, his Sophomore year. Holloway and Lewis could give Defensive Coordinators restless nights.  Holloway is a smaller Receiver, but his speed makes up for the lack of size.

Immediate Role: Return Specialist

Max Potential: Game-changer

4. Quadry Antoine | Belle Chasse, LA (Belle Chasse HS)

Size: 5’11″, 210

Primary Position: Strong Safety

Secondary Position: Linebacker

2011 Stats: 74 Tkls. 9 TFL 2 Sks. 3 FF

 Strengths

+ Big Hitter
+ Football I.Q.
+ Closing Speed

Weaknesses

– Coverage Skills
– Hips

Player Breakdown: Antoine is probably the most college-ready, physically and mentally, of all the 2012 signees. He is a true tone- setter who knows when to lay the big blow. But he also knows when to take the interception.  The explosive Safety does need to work on his footwork and coverage skills, but he has the work ethic to strengthen those areas.  Antoine will likely play as a Freshman and I feel he could compete for playing time at Strong Safety. He should help out on special teams—even if he doesn’t get into Safety rotation.  I think the Louisiana native can definitely be an All-SEC caliber player by the time he leaves Mississippi State.  Antoine and Nickoe Whitley will form The “Hit Squad” when they are on the field together.

Immediate Role: Rotation Safety

Max Potential: All-SEC SS or LB

5. Devon Desper | Madison,MS (Madison Central HS)

Size: 6’5″, 300

Primary Position: Center

Secondary Position: Guard or Right Tackle

2011 Accolades: Played in Under Armor All-Star & Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game.

 Strengths

+ Finished Well
+ Size
+ Versatility

Weaknesses

– Just Solid Athlete
– Tone-Up

Player Breakdown: Desper is a player some will be surprised I rated so high in the class. But I feel that he will make an immediate impact at Center. Dylan Holley is the projected starter, but Desper could battle him for the job. He is more athletic, and center is a position where Freshmen can play early.  The bruising Center could also help at Guard if he doesn’t beat out Holley. He will eventually be the starter at Center, and I think the All-SEC team is in his future.

Immediate Role: Back-up or Starting Center

Max Potential:All-SEC Center

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