Moorhead, Bulldogs land solid class

In this Aug. 3, 2018, photo, Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead watches his team prepare for the upcoming 2018 NCAA college football season in Starkville, Miss. Coach Moorhead and the Bulldogs are betting on the leadership of returning starters under the first-year coach. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

STARKVILLE – Joe Moorhead and the Bulldog staff received 14 National Letters of Intent to solidify a top 20 ranked recruiting class on the first day of the early signing period for 2019 on Wednesday.

MSU’s #MoorDawgs19 closed out the day ranked as high as No. 14 by ESPN.com, No. 19 by 247Sports.com and No. 22 by Rivals.com. Based on ESPN.com’s rankings, the Bulldogs wrapped up the day as the sixth-highest ranked SEC team behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 6 LSU and No. 13 Auburn. The complete class was unveiled on HailState.com/MoorDawgs19.

Eight of the 14 signees hail from the state of Mississippi, while the others come from Alabama (2), Georgia (1), Louisiana (1) North Carolina (1) and Tennessee (1). Moorhead signed three top-15 players in the state of Mississippi according to the 247Sports’ overall rankings, including four-star offensive tackle and the 95th-ranked player in the nation overall in Charles Cross (Laurel, Miss.). MSU also inked two of the top three ranked Mississippi junior college prospects in safety Fred Peters (Jones County) and LaQuinston Sharp (East Mississippi).

Among State’s other top signees were four-star prospects defensive end De’Monte Russell (Pelahatchie, Miss.), quarterback Garrett Shrader (Charlotte, N.C.), cornerback Jarrian Jones (Brandon, Miss.) and defensive end Ani Izuchukwu (Hendersonville, Tenn.).

The Bulldogs finished Wednesday with eight signees on offense and six on defense.

MSU completed an 8-4 regular season, finished No. 18 in the College Football Playoff rankings and secured a New Year’s Day bowl berth. State takes on Iowa in the Outback Bowl at noon ET/11 a.m. CT on Jan. 1 in Tampa.

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