The coaching staff at Mississippi State had a big presence in West Tennessee on Wednesday.
Head coach Dan Mullen made a stop in Brownsville to visit with Haywood defensive lineman and Class 4A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year Emmit Gooden.
A little later in the afternoon, Mullen’s defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, was in Milan visiting with Bulldog junior offensive lineman Jacob Rimmer and extending a scholarship offer to him.
Gooden is one of a handful of senior athletes in the area who have less than two months from National Signing Day to possibly make their decision for where they will play college football.
“The visit went well,” Gooden said about talking with Mullen, whom he’s had a number of visits with during the football season as he’s made a number of trips to Starkville for game days.
Gooden said on Monday at the Mr. Football awards ceremony that he could see himself staying in Starkville for four years of football and education.
“I plan to announce my commitment at the Blue-Gray all-star game later this month, and until then I’ve got another all-star game to play in to show my talents here in this state,” said Gooden, who will play in the East-West all-star game next Friday in Cookeville.
Gooden also said he’s not sure where he’ll take his five official visits yet.
Sadarius Hutcherson, a defensive lineman from Huntingdon who has seven offers, knows of two places he will take his official visits with: South Carolina and Arizona State. The Gamecocks offered him a scholarship in October the same week former head coach Steve Spurrier resigned. Arizona State recently extended him an offer.
“Arizona State I think will come see me next week, and South Carolina is coming too,” Hutcherson said. “It will be a good chance for them and me to get to know each other.”
Hutcherson said he’s not sure where his other three official visits will take place.
One other team who’d offered Hutcherson was Memphis. He said he’d had a good relationship with Justin Fuente, who left to take the head coaching job at Virginia Tech this past weekend. He said he’s received messages from Virginia Tech as well.
“He hasn’t offered, but I hope I get one from him,” Hutcherson said.
Andrew Goldsmith, who won the Class 2A Mr. Football Back of the Year after his season with Trinity Christian, said he still has seven offers. He said he’d communicated with Memphis about playing running back for the Tigers, but he hadn’t heard from Memphis or Virginia Tech since Fuente left.
University School of Jackson quarterback Easton Underwood is still entertaining offers from the likes of Purdue and Southern Miss. He also has offers to be a preferred walk-on at bigger teams like Tennessee and Alabama.
TCA fullback Chris Tucker still has an offer from FCS team Stetson in Florida with other possibilities as well.
One player who is certain of where he’s going is Lexington defensive lineman Tariqious Tisdale. He committed to Ole Miss in June and said that’s where he wants to go after also being offered by Mississippi State and Tennessee.
Milan’s Jacob Rimmer is now up to four offers after the one from Mississippi State.
“Coach Diaz watched me work out then wanted me to call him afterward,” Rimmer said. “When I did, he said they liked how I’m growing as a lineman and getting better and offered me a scholarship.”
The other three schools who’ve offered are Vanderbilt, Miami and North Carolina. Miami recently made a coaching change and just hired former Georgia head coach Mark Richt to lead the Hurricanes. Rimmer said he hears from the Miami director of player personnel about every two or three weeks to keep in contact. He said he expects to continue to have an offer from Miami.
“I’ll be watching to see how that transition goes for them, but Coach Richt being there is definitely interesting,” Rimmer said.
USJ junior offensive lineman Trey Smith, who also won Mr. Football for the Division II-A Lineman of the Year this week, has a couple dozen NCAA FBS offers to play once he’s finished next year with the Bruins.
He said there are plenty of places he’s been to in the past few months that he really likes.
“It’s hard to compare the different schools to each other because they’re all so great with coaches and facilities,” Smith said. “I’m waiting to take it all in until I’m comfortable with making a decision.”
Class 1A Mr. Football Back of the Year winner Dresser Winn, from Dresden, doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet, but the quarterback has plenty of interest from teams in the Big Ten like Indiana and Illinois. He said he plans to go to Indiana in the coming weeks to visit the coaches and see the campus. Winn is also a junior.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751