Mississippi State’s recent recruiting momentum extended into the second week of the Early Signing Period.
Four-star center Abdul Ado committed and signed to the Bulldogs on Monday.
The 6-foot-11, 235-pounder is the No. 3 player in Tennessee and No. 16 at his position nationally in 2016, according to 247Sports. Ado took an official visit to Starkville two weeks ago and visited Penn State last weekend. He chose the Bulldogs over offers from Auburn, LSU, Penn State and Oregon, among others.
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“Mississippi is the new Hollywood of the south,” Ado’s guardian Linzy Davis said. “They have really brought a nice western flare to the south and you could really feel it. It’s like Hollywood there in Starkville. Felt nothing but love among the student body and all of the leadership that’s there.”
He is the sixth signee for first-year coach Ben Howland in 2016 and joins a class with fellow four-star center Schnider Herard, four-star small forward Mario Kegler and four-star guards Tyson Carter, Lamar Peters and Eli Wright.
Notably, Ado has had a relationship with Kegler and Herard from their time playing alongside each other on the AAU circuit. The three participated at the NBPA Top 100 camp, Adidas Nations and the Pangos All-American Camp over the spring and summer.
“Playing with Mario was a huge factor and the largest was playing for Coach Ben Howland,” Davis said. “He’s a defensive coach and it’s in the DNA of the coach and the DNA of the player. It’s a perfect match. That’s what’s going to help him towards becoming a top player and as an NBA lottery pick. Playing with a great offensive player like Mario is a tremendous compliment.”
Mississippi State currently has the No. 8 ranked class in 2016, according to 247Sports Composite Recruiting Rankings. Davis said Howland’s recruiting prowess in landing six 4-star prospects is what will take Mississippi State to the next level.
“It’s a big impact because they’re trying to knock off Kentucky,” he said. “Now they have a class that can actually take Kentucky on. That’s the key. It’s good for the SEC because now you’ve taken on the ability of all of these teams.”
With Herard playing at the five, Ado will be called on to use his ability as both a power forward and center.
“He’s going to be an interchangeable guy playing the four and the five,” he said. “No player is going to be able to play 40 minutes. He has the ability to play multiple positions. He will clearly be the best shot-blocking, rim-protecting player in college basketball when he enters his freshman year and everyone will see that. He’s 6-11 with a 6-5 wingspan. There are two players in the NBA with a larger wingspan that that.”