Five football signees enroll at Mississippi State


Former East Mississippi Community College offensive lineman LaQuinston Sharp was one of five players that have enrolled at Mississippi State this week.

By: 
JOEL COLEMAN
Staff Writer

Several new Mississippi State Bulldogs are getting an early start to their football careers.

MSU announced on Tuesday that five players who signed with State last month are enrolled in classes at the school for the spring semester, which began on Monday. The group includes offensive linemen Charles Cross and LaQuinston Sharp, as well as safety Fred Peters, quarterback Garrett Shrader and defensive lineman Ani Izuchukwu.

All five guys will participate in spring football practice for the Bulldogs.

Cross, Shrader and Izuchukwu all join Mississippi State straight out of high school. Cross is a four-star prospect from Laurel and is the fourth-best recruit from the state of Mississippi according to 247Sports.

“Charles is long, lean and athletic,” MSU offensive line coach Marcus Johnson said of Cross. “He has solid foot speed and quickness. He bends really well and has a bright future at Mississippi State.

Shrader is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country for the Class of 2019. He’s a four-star prospect out of Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina and has already gotten his feet wet with the Bulldogs. He participated in a pair of MSU football practices last month as State prepared for the Outback Bowl. 

“He’s an exceptional athlete that has proven to be equally productive throwing and running the football,” MSU quarterbacks coach Andrew Breiner said of Shrader. “He comes from a great family and will make a positive impact here at Mississippi State both on and off the field.”

Izuchukwu is out of Davidson Academy in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He’s the fifth-best prospect out of the state of Tennessee according to ESPN.

“(Izuchukwu) is the type of edge player that can be productive in the SEC,” MSU defensive line coach Brian Baker said. “He has a lot of playmaking ability with a huge upside.”

Peters and Sharp both come to MSU from junior colleges. Sharp is out of East Mississippi Community College. Peters comes by way of Jones County Junior College.

Sharp is rated the No. 2 junior college offensive guard in the country.

“LaQuinston is a thick mauler that can anchor,” Johnson said. “He has the type of upside that is going to help us.”

Peters is a four-star prospect that could contribute immediately at MSU next season given what the Bulldogs are losing at the safety position.

“Fred is an outstanding football player who shined at Jones County,” MSU defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop said. “We expect him to come in and contribute immediately.”

Final rankings

MSU football’s loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl cost the Bulldogs one national ranking as State barely held on in the other poll.

Mississippi State ended the year unranked in the final Associated Press poll released on Tuesday, though MSU did receive votes.

In the coaches poll, the Bulldogs ended the season ranked No. 25.

Bulldogs lose commit

With the February signing day nearing, Mississippi State lost one of its top commits late Monday night.

Four-star defensive lineman Charles Moore announced Monday night that he is opening back up his recruitment. Moore, out of nearby Louisville, had been committed to the Bulldogs since August of 2017.

According to 247Sports, Moore is the sixth-best prospect in the state of Mississippi for the Class of 2019. Auburn and Florida are among the many schools Moore is considering in addition to Mississippi State.

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