Mississippi State went into the 2008 recruiting campaign looking for DL help and added two playmakers to the commitment list over the weekend. Although Desoto Central's Devin Jones is currently sidelined with an injury, he is expected to be full strength by the time division games come around this fall, and the in-state schools were more than willing to take the risk, due to his enormous potential. Jones talked about his commitment and his rehab.
"After talking to coach [Melvin] Smith and coach [Sylvester] Croom and the rest of the coaching staff, I liked them all and it was a real hard decision," he began on his commitment thought process over the weekend at MSU's camp. "Ole Miss was on me. They tried to recruit me hard, but I chose Mississippi State because I love the coaching staff. I think coach Croom will be the best head coach for me.
"I am pretty firm on it."
While Jones definitely fills a need for State, a knee injury during the spring slowed his recruiting, but State held firm and eventually won out. Successful surgery a month ago has things heading in the right direction rapidly.
"I felt the pain in spring training and about three weeks later I had my surgery," he described the process. "They went in and they said it was about a three-month injury, so I could have done it in track or power lifting. Physical therapy is going good, though, and I am hearing people are expecting me back in time for division games."
Brown tore his ACL, but is recovering nicely.
"I had surgery about a month ago, but I am healing pretty good," he said. "They will release you at about 85 percent to play football. When I was talking to the guy that helped do my surgery, it looked like I was about 70 percent. That was Friday morning."
While capable of playing at 85 percent, the Desoto Central coaches and Mississippi State coaches appear to be leaning to the cautious side, just to make sure Jones' future is secure.
"Coach Purnell says that he is going to wait until I'm 100 percent so nothing can happen," he said. "Mississippi State offered me a full scholarship but they want to make sure I am well before they play me. That's why coach Purnell is waiting."
The State staff hasn't discussed the possibility of a redshirt year at this point. That will likely be determined by his progress this fall.