Mississippi State, while once focusing on prospects from the South, has added a new coaching staff, and with that an entirely new recruiting area. Marshfield, Mass., defensive end Austin Giles is a prospect on their early list, and State made contact during the early evaluation period. What takes the Bulldogs to that part of the country?
"I am definitely looking for a great education and a good football tradition, but mostly a great education," Giles commented. "I want a good stepping stone for life after college." At the conclusion of the early evaluation period, he lists Michigan, BC, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Syracuse, Northeastern and Mississippi State as his leaders.
Last month, Giles received calls from Mississippi State (Grimes), New Hampshire, and UMass. Maine, UMass, Northeastern, and Syracuse also visited the school. (For more info on how the Bulldogs discovered Giles, check out the Bulldogs exclusive forum, The Recruiting Forum.)
So how important is proximity to home to Giles?
"There are ups and downs to going away and to staying home," he said. "If I stay close I will be close to my family, but the bad thing is you are not really away."
A starter since his sophomore season, Giles recorded 67 tackles and eight sacks as a junior en route to being named the Massachusetts Player of the Year and league all star. He was also named to the all-scholastic team. At 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, and describes himself simply as, 110 all the way."
While capable of playing on either side of the ball, Giles said he will definitely play defense at the next level. He plays strongside DE in high school, where he basically just follows the tight end.
"Austin is a really good prospect," commented Marshfield defensive line coach Brian Shacochis. "I was here when is brother was here (Zach Giles), and he went to Notre Dame. Austin is truly a phenom.
"His feet are very good in terms of what he can do defensively. He is probably the best defensive line prospect that has ever been here."
Giles has attended the NIKE Football Training Camp at Penn State and plans to go to the New Jersey Combine and camps at BC and Penn State.
Austin should have no problems qualifying academically. He currently maintains a 2.8 GPA and is scheduled to take the SAT this upcoming Saturday. He plans to major in criminal law and justice.