Mississippi State never seems to have recruiting classes that rank all that high, yet the Bulldogs have found a way throughout this decade to get to bowl games and make things tough for their SEC brethren.
Here’s a look at Mississippi State’s best recruiting classes since 2000. Few of these guys were that big a deal on National Signing Day. But by the time some of these players left Starkville, everybody in the SEC knew who they were.
The skinny: On paper, the class wasn’t overly impressive, ranking 22nd nationally. But the group was successful on the field, especially defensively. Defenders such as Beniquez Brown, Will Redmond, Nick James, Richie Brown, Nelson Adams, A.J. Jefferson and Cedric Jiles provided several years of great defensive play for Mississippi State and several ended up on NFL rosters. The Browns weren’t related, but they were rock-solid linebackers, combining for 208 tackles in 2015. They also were key defenders in 2014, when the Bulldogs won 10 games and were ranked No. 1 in the nation for five weeks. Richie Brown and Redmond had a combined six picks in ’14.
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