Recruiting in the SEC is no easy task — simply ask Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
On Wednesday afternoon, coach Mullen accepted the 21st commitment of his 2017 recruiting class, a lofty number at this stage in the cycle, from three-star offensive lineman Montravious Richardson. With Richardson as part of many prospects in the fold for the Bulldogs, the Mississippi State class ranks in the top 20 nationwide according to 247Sports.com. Despite that ranking, though, Mullen’s team barely cracks the top 10 out of the SEC schools, checking in at No. 9 in the conference.
Still, Richardson is a big prospect, both figuratively and literally speaking at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds, and is the fifth offensive lineman in the class so far. Mullen first saw Richardson at a camp in June, a workout that netted the Albany (Ga.) Westover an repeat invite to a Mississippi State camp a month later. This is when he finally earned his scholarship offer from the Bulldogs, his third of the process, joining Georgia State.
“It was really mind-blowing when I first saw it and saw my first official offer was from Mississippi State,” Richardson told 247Sports.com. “I’ve been talking to them a lot since Big Dawg Camp and me and Coach (Dan) Mullen have been texting back and forth, talking about our first practices and things like that.”
Over the past several months, Richardson has developed a strong relationship with the Mississippi State headman, a connection that played a prominent role on his decision to commit to the Bulldogs’ program. When combined with the timing of the season, which is already underway in Georgia, Richardson knew it was time to pull the trigger and end his recruitment four-plus months before National Signing Day.
“It was basically sick of waiting,” he said. “I’ve been ready and the coaches just wanted to see my grades improve the first nine weeks of school. I got those grades back this week, and they saw my improvement. So, I called Coach Mullen this morning and talked to him. He told me congrats and welcomed me to the family.”
As part of the Bulldogs’ family, Richardson will work to improve his game during his senior campaign in order to beat out the other four offensive lineman in his class for a shot at early playing time. He has several feathers in his cap in that regard, largely being his pure size. In addition to his imposing stature, he absorbs contact from crashing defensive linemen well and moves quickly on a lateral basis, an important skill for an offensive tackle, which is where Mississippi State sees the Georgia recruit playing at on the next level.
“It’s going to be a great experience playing for Coach Hevesy and they like me as an offensive tackle,” said Richardson. “He is a good coach that brings a lot of energy. He likes me length at tackle, too. He said I am raw with some techniques and things but said he can teach me anything.”
During his high school games, Richardson has experience playing on both sides of the offensive line at left and right tackle. Depending on the Mississippi State depth chart, this history may come into play again down the road and, if so, he plans to be prepared.
Richardson is the second prospect to commit to Mississippi State in as many months, joining Wesson (Miss.) Copiah-Lincoln Community College defensive end Montez Sweat.