Moorhead signs Top 25 class in Starkville


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STARKVILLE, Miss.  – National Signing Day is in the books for 2019, and Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead and his staff solidified a consensus top-25 class on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs welcomed eight signees who joined the group of 14 that signed during the early period last December. MSU’s class finished ranked 24th nationally by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.

Of the Bulldogs’ 22 total signees, 11 are natives of Mississippi, while the others hail from Alabama (3), Florida (2), Tennessee (2), Georgia (1), Louisiana (1), New Jersey (1) and North Carolina (1). The class features 11 offensive players, 10 on defense and one specialist.

State’s signees on Wednesday included four-star Under Armour All-American defensive tackle Nathan Pickering (Mount Olive, Miss. / Seminary HS). Pickering is considered the sixth-best defensive tackle in the nation and the fifth-best prospect in the state of Mississippi by 247Sports.

With Pickering and five-star offensive lineman Charles Cross, MSU landed two of the top five players in Mississippi for 2019 per 247Sports. Cross, who signed during the early period and enrolled at MSU last month, is the No. 1 overall player in the state and the first five-star offensive lineman in program history. In addition, Cross is the highest-rated offensive prospect to sign with the Bulldogs since running back Jerious Norwood in 2002.

The Bulldogs also hauled in a pair of junior college transfers on Wednesday in running back Kareem Walker (Irvington, N.J. / Fort Scott [Kan.] CC) and wide receiver JaVonta Payton (Nashville, Tenn. / Northwest [Miss.] CC). Walker is the No. 3 ranked junior college running back according to the 247Sports Composite, while Payton is the No. 2 rated wide receiver.

MSU welcomed another offensive lineman in four-star offensive tackle Brandon Cunningham (St. Martin, Miss. / St. Martin HS).

State also added defensive backs Collin Duncan (Montgomery, Ala. / St. James School), Martin Emerson (Pensacola, Fla. / Pine Forest HS), Dylan Lawrence (George County, Miss. / George County HS) and South Alabama graduate transfer punter Corliss Waitman (Milton, Fla. / South Alabama).

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