Mississippi State was looking for immediate help from its 2017 recruiting class, bringing in a huge haul of 13 early enrollees this spring.
Nine of those early enrollees are JUCO transfers. That should restock the roster with some experience after the Bulldogs had 24 seniors in 2016. The Bulldogs hope a few of those new guys can contribute right away next season.
SEC Country takes a look at some of the top members of Mississippi State’s sizable group of early arrivals.
QB Keytaon Thompson – New Orleans
He probably won’t see the field this season, but getting 4-star prospect Keytaon Thompson on the field for spring practice will be great for his development. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound quarterback is an ideal fit for Dan Mullen’s offense. He actually comes out of high school with a higher rating than Bulldogs legend Dak Prescott, so Mississippi State fans will be excited about his potential to lead the offense in years to come.
The New Orleans native is the second-highest-rated recruit in the Bulldogs’ 2017 class after 4-star RB Kylin Hill. He chose Mississippi State over offers from LSU, Florida and Tennessee.
DE Chauncey Rivers – Stone Mountain, Ga.
With five senior defensive linemen from the 2016 depth chart departing, Mississippi State needed immediate help up front and got it. Chauncey Rivers, a 4-star end from East Mississippi Community College, gives the Bulldogs an athletic prospect who has a knack for making plays in the backfield. He had 45 tackles, 8 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2016 for EMCC.
This will be Rivers’ second stop in the SEC, and he’ll hope this one turns out better. He signed with Georgia out of high school in 2015, but he was dismissed from the program last year after three arrests on charges of marijuana possession.
S Johnathan Abram – Columbia, Miss.
Johnathan Abram, another former Georgia player, already has shown he’s capable of making plays in the SEC. The 3-star safety started four games for the Bulldogs in 2015 before transferring to Jones County Junior College after Mark Richt was fired. He had 25 tackles that season.
Abram will get an opportunity to help Mississippi State’s secondary immediately in 2017, as will fellow safety signees Brian Cole and Jaquarius Landrews.
Mississippi State early enrollees:
- Keytaon Thompson, 4-star quarterback (New Orleans)
- Chauncey Rivers*, 4-star defensive end (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
- Johnathan Abram*, 3-star safety (Columbia, Miss.)
- Deion Pope*, 3-star defensive tackle (Collins, Miss.)
- Lee Autry*, 3-star defensive tackle (Albemarle, N.C.)
- Tommy Champion*, 3-star offensive tackle (Jackson, Miss.)
- Montez Sweat*, 3-star defensive end (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
- Austin Williams, 3-star wide receiver (Ocean Springs, Miss.)
- Tyler Williams, 3-star cornerback (Oxford, Miss.)
- Brian Cole*, 3-star safety (Saginaw, Mich.)
- Tyre Phillips*, 3-star offensive guard (Grenada, Miss.)
- Jaquarius Landrews*, 3-star safety (McComb, Miss.)
- James Jackson, 3-star defensive tackle (Pascagoula, Miss.)
* – Denotes JUCO signee
All ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite unless otherwise noted.