In front of over 36,000 fans Saturday, the Mississippi State football program held its' annual Maroon and White spring game. Also in attendance were numerous prospects, including several of the top in-state recruits for the Class of 2012.
Headlining the group on the defensive side of the ball was Aberdeen, Miss., defensive end Channing Ward as well as Morton, Miss., defensive tackle Quay Evans.
"It was nice and a good environment," said Ward, who plans to go to Ole Miss' spring game next weekend. "I had a good time and there were a lot of fans here.
It feels like I am at home and they have great coaches and a great game-day environment."
The Bulldogs also welcomed several top in-state products on the other side of the ball, including one of the most highly-touted offensive linemen in the Magnolia State.
"It was great being here and a great environment," said Provine (Miss.) High School offensive lineman Cordarrly Gaines. "I loved watching their offensive line and they really get after it. It just always feels like home when I come here and it was that way again today. I also saw a lot of other top prospects here so that was good to see."
Among the skill players represented was Olive Branch (Miss.) wideout D'Arthur Cowan, who made his third trip to Starkville since the first of the year.
"I like playing in front of big crowds so I liked seeing that crowd today," said Cowan. "I saw a lot of five-receiver sets they ran today and that was good.
They are still one of my top favorites and I always like being up here."
The Bulldogs also had both 2012 commitments on hand Saturday in McComb (Miss.) defensive back Deonte Evans and Madison Central (Miss.) offensive lineman Devon Desper.
OL Donald Hawkins Northwest (Miss.) Community College WR Travon Travis Gulfport, Miss. LB Jameson Goins Gulfport, Miss. LB Lelland Ducksworth North Forrest, Miss. DL/TE Nelson Adams Brandon, Miss. DT Alphonse Taylor Mobile Davidson, Ala. DB Pat Thomas Mobile Davidson, Ala. ATH Chris Walker Mobile Davidson, Ala. DB Josh Stewart Neshoba Central, Miss. DE Winston Chapman Fairhope, Ala. TE Canon Smith Briarwood Christian (Ala.) OL Chandler Matthews Pearl River (Miss.) Community College CB Cedric Jiles Clinton, Miss. OL Joe Manley Bowling Green, Ky. LB Griff Loftis Mooreville, Miss. OL Gus Walley Green County (Miss.) High School QB Chase Domino Fairhope, Ala.
Class of 2013
RB Ashton Shumpert Tupelo, Miss. OL Jake Thomas Columbus, Miss. RB Mario Virges West Point, Miss. FB Justin Lucas Aberdeen, Miss OL/DL Brandon Hodges Aberdeen, Miss. LB Braxton Anderson Aberdeen, Miss.