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Posts Tagged ‘tony hughes’

Mullen’s First Recruiting Class and Staff Announcements

Posted by Kevin on February 5, 2009

As the day after National Signing Day dawns, college football junkies turn their attention to their school’s recruiting ranking. Not that these rankings actually mean anything, but it gives us something to talk about and dissect for a couple of weeks until college baseball starts back up and the regular season of college basketball winds down and our attentions turn toward March Madness.

I have no idea what Mississippi State’s historical recruiting rankings may be. My guess is we would have a trend of a national ranking of 50-70 and a conference ranking of 7-12 with an occasional big bump. What has got me excited about this year’s class is Dan Mullen and the enthusiasm and promise he brings to my beloved Bulldogs.

Sure, this is Mullen’s freshman season as the head man, but his resume speaks for itself. Everywhere he has been, he has been a winner. Having been a part of Urban Meyer‘s staff from the beginning when Meyer got his first head coaching job at Bowling Green, I feel that Mullen has been in a prime position to learn how to build a successful staff and program. They did it at Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida. Now Mullen has his shot at putting his experiences to the ultimate test in Starkville.

Mullen is a firm believer in building relationships with Mississippi high school coaches and the players that our state produces. He believes that Mississippi produces enough talent to win at the college level and has made great strides already in keeping these players close to home to “play for their state university”.

19 of the 27 players MSU signed yesterday are from Mississippi. Heck, Mullen’s staff has already been talking to the state’s top juniors about their college choice for next season. This year’s primary recruiting focus was to bring speed and a lot of receivers to the offense while filling holes elsewhere. Mullen already knows next year’s recruiting class will have more of a defensive focus and he’s made mention of forecasting his needs for two year’s down the road. Now, I’m sure many college coaches are smart enough to think long term like this, but this is something refreshing for Mississippi State fans. We are not used to having a coach with the smarts to think long term.

Perhaps the biggest gem from this class is Meridian quarterback Tyler Russell. Russell was Mr. Football this past season in Mississip, and lead Meridian to a dramatic 5A state championship that snapped South Panola’s 90-game winning streak.

Mullen’s staff also signed SEVEN… yes, seven, receivers. I don’t know if State has ever had that many receivers on the entire roster before now. Mullen says he would like to keep 10-12 receivers on the roster because they will rotate players so often to keep people fresh. Now, that’s not to say that all of these receivers will play receiver. A couple may end up at cornerback, and a couple of players signed as athletes may end up at receiver.

Mullen’s staff breaks down like this:
Dan Mullen – head coach & special teams coordinator
Less Koenning – offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach
Mark Hudspeth – passing game coordinator & wide receivers coach
John Hevesy – running game coordinator & offensive line coach
Greg Knox – running backs coach
Scott Sallach – tight ends coach
Carl Torbush – defensive coordinator & linebackers coach
David Turner – defensive line coach
Melvin Smith – cornerbacks & nickel coach
Tony Hughes – safeties coach & recruiting coordinator
Reed Stringer – director of recruiting operations
Rockey Felker – director of player personnel & high school relations
Jody Wright – coordinator of football operations

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