Everyone who signed with Mike Leach, Mississippi State football on National Signing Day

Tyler Horka
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

STARKVILLE – Christmas came just over a week early for college football enthusiasts. 

Wednesday started the early signing period. Like kids who are set for years to come when they receive a life-changing gift on Christmas morning, college football programs across the country will be forever changed by the high school and junior college players they sign and the ones they don't sign in this recruiting class. 

Mississippi State exited Wednesday with with 19 signees. The Bulldogs' first full class with coach Mike Leach at the helm ranks No. 36 nationally and No. 10 in the SEC according to the 247Sports composite team rankings. 

The Clarion Ledger tracked every recruit Mississippi State signed. Here is information on the players who have pledged to call MSU home for the next few years. 

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2021 Mississippi State recruiting class

OT Canon Boone (6-4, 280)

Dickinson High School (Dickinson, Texas)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 85 offensive tackle

Commit date: Dec. 16, 2020

Twitter handle: @CanonBoone75

The final word: Merry flipmas! Boone has been committed to Virginia Tech since Aug. 15. The Mississippi State recruiting staff made a serious push for the big Texan down the stretch, and it paid off. Building up the offensive line has been a major point of emphasis for the MSU staff in this class, and it has culminated in the addition of Boone. Boone was a Texas Sports Writers Association First Team All State selection and Touchdown Club All Greater Houston Area First Team selection as well. 

OT Gabe Cavazos (6-5, 292)

Lake Comorant High School(Lake Cormorant, Miss.)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 109 offensive tackle

Commit date: Aug. 4, 2020

Twitter handle: @gabeCavazos_61

The final word: Cavazos chose Mississippi State over Arkansas State, Memphis, Middle Tennessee and South Alabama. He's a big, physical tackle who earned First Team All-State honors this season. Cavazos will have quite an adjustment to make from high school to college ball as he is used to blocking in Lake Cormorant's run-heavy offense. Lake Cormorant runs a lot of power and counter schemes, much different than Leach's air raid attack. 

DE Randy Charlton (6-3, 258)

University of Central Florida transfer 

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 32 strong-side defensive end (as high school prospect)

Commit date: Dec. 3, 2020

Twitter handle: @RandyL_Charlton

The final word: It's always momentous for depth to secure a Division I player from the transfer portal. Charlton had 28 tackles and two sacks in five games played as a starter on UCF's defensive line this season. He played in 10 games, five of which he started, as a sophomore in 2019. That year, Charlton totaled 28 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. He left the UFC program on a bad note, but the big pass rusher is ready for a new start in maroon and white. 

S Corey Ellington (6-3, 190)

Holmes County High School (Lexington, Miss.) 

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 96 safety 

Commit date: April 20, 2020

Twitter handle: @ellington_corey

The final word: Ellington chose Mississippi State over Arkansas, Arkansas State, Indiana, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis and Southern Miss. He competed in the Mississippi/Alabama All Star Game last week. He's a tall, long safety who gives MSU depth at a position it surely needs it in. 

QB Daniel Greek (6-4, 230)

Liberty Christian High School (Argyle, Texas)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 136 pro-style QB

Commit date: Feb. 2, 2020 

Twitter handle: @DanielGreek12

The final word: Greek held 17 offers, including Arkansas State, Duke, Memphis, Missouri, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. Greek has his work cut out for him in trying to get playing time at MSU with Will Rogers starting as a true freshman and fellow Texan Sawyer Robertson signing in the same class as him. But Greek committed to MSU less than a month after Leach was named the program's head coach and has stuck by State's side ever since. 

WR Antonio Harmon (6-4, 205)

Kosciusko High School (Kosciusko, Miss.)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 49 wide receiver

Commit date: Dec. 16, 2020

Twitter handle: @aharmon2021

The final word: What a pickup for Mississippi State on signing day itself. Harmon, Mississippi State's third top 50 wide receiver in this class, was a Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen selection and is playing in this week's Bernard Blackwell Classic All Star Game. Harmon chose Mississippi State over Ole Miss, LSU, Georgia and Texas. He's a big-body outside wide receiver who can stretch the field vertically for a Bulldog offense that has struggled to do that in Leach's first year at MSU. 

More:4-star WR Antonio Harmon signs with Mississippi State over Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, Texas

OT Nick Jones (6-4, 285) 

East Mississippi Community College (Scooba, Miss.) 

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 9 JUCO offensive tackle 

Commit date: Sept. 5, 2020 

Twitter handle: @ThaGoat77

The final word: Mississippi State has made use of one of the best junior college pipelines being roughly a one-hour drive from Starkville. They did it again in signing Jones, a top-10 JUCO offensive tackle talent. Jones had interest from 10 other schools including Southern Miss, Liberty and Oklahoma State, but the Byhalia native decided to stay in state. 

WR Theodore Knox (5-10, 167) 

The Woodlands High School (The Woodlands, Texas)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 41 wide receiver 

Commit date: June 27, 2020

Twitter handle: @sayyted

The final word: Mike Leach is described as a quarterback whisperer, but quarterbacks are nothing in his air raid offense without weapons to throw the ball to. Leach landed a big one in Knox. Not physically big, since Knox is only 5-10, but he is the type of shifty receiver that can make plays with the ball in his hands. True freshman Jaden Walley stands a 6-0 with a bump on his head and 180 pounds soaking wet, and he is MSU's top target this season. Knox is of similar size and build as Walley and is expected to make an immediate impactin maroon and white. 

OLB John Lewis (6-4, 225) 

Germantown High School (Madison, Miss.)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 21 outside linebacker 

Commit date: Dec. 8, 2020

Twitter handle: @JohnLewis7414

The final word: Lewis is one of Mississippi State's most recent commits. He became MSU's fourth 4-star commit in the class in choosing the Bulldogs over Ole Miss, Florida State, Jackson State and Central Arkansas. An athletic pass-rusher, Lewis is a good fit to come off the edge in MSU defensive coordinator Zach Arnett's system. He'll have at least a year to learn from current hybrid linebackers Tyrus Wheat and Jordan Davis. 

WDE Tre'von Marshall (6-4, 240)

Locust Grove High School (Locust Grove, Georgia)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 80 weak-side defensive end

Commit date: July 31, 2020

Twitter handle: @Talk2emTre

The final word: Marshall chose Mississippi State over Georgia State, Southern Miss and Tulane. Marshall flew under the radar as a little-known commodity in Georgia, but the Mississippi State staff sought him out and offered him a scholarship on the same day Southern Miss did. Those two schools were the first to do so. Marshall took MSU up on the offer a week and a half after he received it. He is a quality depth add to the defensive line, a position group MSU has groomed with great success over the years. Marshall recorded 65 tackles, including 11.0 for a loss, as a senior in high school. 

OLB Nic Mitchell (6-2, 215) 

Mandarin High School (Jacksonville, Florida)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, 215 pounds 

Commit date: Sept. 8, 2020

Twitter handle: @Glizoutnik7

The final word: Mississippi State went into the Sunshine State to land Mitchell over 13 other schools that tried to dip in there including Maryland, Liberty, South Alabama, Southern Miss and Tulane. Another linebacker with a more slender, athletic build, Mitchell will need to bulk up a tad to have an impact early on in the way Aaron Brule and Nathaniel Watson have as sophomores. Those are two good, young players for Mitchell to learn from early in his college career. 

WR Jacobi Moore (6-2, 200)

Harrison Central High School (Gulfport, Miss.)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 90 wide receiver 

Commit date: Aug. 8, 2020

Twitter handle: @Jacobi_Moore2

The final word: Moore's main recruiter was MSU wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr., who pulled Moore to Mississippi State over stiff competition in Auburn, Indiana, Louisiana, Ole miss, Oregon and Southern Miss. Moore has the size to make plays on the outside in Leach's offense similar to the way Malik Heath and Osirus Mitchell have in spurts this season. He gives the air raid offense another sizable threat to make plays in the red zone. 

ILB DeShawn Page (6-2, 225)

East Mississippi Community College (Scooba, Miss.)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 4 JUCO inside linebacker 

Commit date: Oct. 24, 2020

Twitter handle: @DeshawnPage7

The final word: Senior linebacker Erroll Thompson might be playing his final game in maroon and white in the next month, so securing a linebacker like Page who has experience past the high school level was vital for Mississippi State in this class. Page chose MSU over Kansas State, Texas Tech, Akron, Arkansas State, East Carolina, Oklahoma State, Washington State and Western Kentucky. 

RB Simeon Price (6-0, 204)

West Florida Tech (Pensacola, Florida)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 38 athlete 

Commit date: Dec. 16, 2020

Twitter handle: @SimeonPrice2

The final word: Price was committed to South Carolina as a wide receiver from July 1 to Nov. 23. The Gamecocks' firing of Will Muschamp led Price to de-commit, and Mississippi State became his new landing spot. Price is a track and field AAU All-American. Adding a player with elite speed to Leach's air raid offense is a bonus. Price was primarily recruited as a wide receiver, but with MSU loading up on wideouts in this class, he is expected to profile in the backfield. 

OT Albert Reese (6-7, 295)

Clearwater Academy International (Clearwater, Florida) 

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 105 offensive tackle 

Commit date: Dec. 5, 2020

Twitter handle: @AlbertReese15

The final word: If there has been one position group that has struggled above all others during Mississippi State's transition to the air raid offense, it's been the offensive line. Leach's staff has subsequently not stopped recruiting the position in the days leading up to signing day. Reese chose MSU 11 days before putting his name on the dotted line and said no to 22 other schools including Iowa state, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and others. 

QB Sawyer Robertson (6-4, 200) 

Coronado High School (Lubbock, Texas) 

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 10 pro-style quarterback 

Commit date: March 31, 2020

Twitter handle: @SawRobertson12

The final word: Right down to the Texas ties, Sawyer Robertson might be one of the most prototypical Leach quarterbacks that ever comes to Mississippi State. Growing up in the city where Leach put his offensive scheme on the map in with some of the best seasons in Texas Tech history, Robertson is the pass-happy quarterback Leach needs to operate his offense at the highest level. Just a few days before signing day, Robertson threw for nine touchdowns and 445 yards in just over one half of action in an 82-35 playoff victory. He has 3,663 passing yards and 47 touchdowns to five interceptions in 10 games played. 

OLB Timar Rogers (6-2, 200)

Deland High School (Deland, Florida)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 69 outside linebacker 

Commit date: July 17, 2020

Twitter handle: @11wayz

The final word: Mississippi State certainly has a vision for what it wants its linebackers to be with defensive coordinator Zach Arnett on staff. Rogers is another athletic player at the position. Like some of the other linebacker recruits in this class, he'll need to put on weight to be a consistent force in the SEC, but he has the play-making ability Arnett and MSU's other defensive coaches are looking for. Rogers had 27 other offers including Auburn, Missouri, Washington State and West Virginia. 

WR Rodarius Thomas (6-1, 185)

Eufaula High School (Eufaula, Alabama) 

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 136 wide receiver 

Commit date: Nov. 30, 2020

Twitter handle: @rodarius_thomas

The final word: Will Muschamp's firing at South Carolina was a benefit to the Bulldogs in securing a commitment from Thomas, who was originally a Gamecocks commit. He brought Mississippi State's wide receiver total in the class to four. Though he's the lowest-rated of the quartet, MSU wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. made a statement by making a conscious effort to secure his commitment in the final weeks before signing day. 

OT Carson Williams (6-4, 290)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Perkinston, Miss.)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 7 JUCO offensive tackle

Commit date: Oct. 10, 2020

Twitter handle: @Carson_74

The final word:  Mississippi State could lose a lot of offensive linemen if the likes of seniors Greg Eiland, Dareuan Parker and LaQuinston Sharp do not choose to come back for an extra year of eligibility. Securing a player with experience beyond high school was important for MSU. Williams earned Mississippi Association of Community College Conference All-South second team honors. 

Contact Tyler Horka at thorka@gannett.com. Follow @tbhorka on Twitter. To read more of Tyler's work, subscribe to the Clarion Ledger today!

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