MONTGOMERY, ALA. -- Mississippi State has nine commits playing in this week's Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, and the Bulldog pledges on hand would like that number to grow.
Ashton Shumpert says Mississippi State is recruiting him the hardest.
At the same time, they're also trying to make sure it doesn't drop.
One Team Mississippi running back, Kailo Moore, is a Bulldogs commit but his recruitment isn't over as Ole Miss is giving chase. Meantime, another back on the team, Ashton Shumpert, is strongly considering Mississippi State and is currently uncommitted.
"I think we feel like [Moore] is set on State, but I don't know where his heart is," said offensive tackle Jake Thomas of Columbus, Miss. "We're working Shumpert pretty hard. We're giving him a hard time and telling him he needs to go ahead and commit."
Moore, a standout at Rosedale (Miss.) West Bolivar, is the No. 8 running back in the country, Shumpert, who is from Tupelo (Miss.), is no slouch either. He's also a four-star prospect.
Blocking for both backs in college would be fun, Thomas added.
"I definitely feel confident in those guys, and what they can do once they get some room to run," Thomas said.
Moore and Shumpert, by the way, are roommates this week, which further adds to the intrigue.
The two are different types of players; Moore is a speed guy. Shumpert is a bigger, more powerful player.
Kailo Moore currently is a Bulldogs pledge.
Each, though, has respect for the other.
"I like his speed and what he can do out in the open," Shumpert said. "He's a homerun threat."
Shumpert thinks he and Moore could be a dangerous tandem.
"He can get to the outside and we can go to the middle with me," Shumpert said.
Back to Thomas for a minute. He is one of three Mississippi State offensive line in Montgomery.
"There's a lot of bonding between us," Thomas said. "We all get along with each other, we all goof around."
Playing with two future interior teammates is beneficial, according to Thomas.
"I like it a lot," he said. "We're kind of getting a head start, seeing what each can do and can't do, and how we can help each other out. I think there is a lot of competition between us."
Tulane offered DT Rod Crayton this week.
*Vanderbilt running back Brian Kimbrow phoned 247Sports on Wednesday to see how Darrell Robinson of Noxubee County (Miss.), a three-star running back, was doing in practice. Robinson and Kimbrow, as it turns out, are cousins and Kimbrow, who went to high school in Memphis, at one time lived in Mississippi. As for Robinson, he likely will be headed the junior college route with East Mississippi C.C. being the front-runner. Robinson has had a good week at practice in a strong backfield.
*Something to keep track of in the coming days: Offensive tackle Cameron Fraser of Phenix City (Ala) Central, a South Florida commit, said as of lunchtime Wednesday he hadn't spoken with the new Bulls coaching staff.
*247Sports expects the stock of Team Alabama offensive guard Wilson Bell of Mobile (Ala.) Blount to rise at week's end. Thus far, the Central Florida commit has excelled in practice. In fact, when asked which offensive lineman on his team has looked the best, four-star Auburn defensive line commit Dee Liner named Bell, who is 6-feet-4, 296 pounds.
*Three-star defensive end Xavier Pegues of Oxford (Miss.), a good-looking 6-feet-3, 240-pounder, told 247Sports he has some offers from FCS programs, but very likely could land at a junior college in hopes of eventually signing with a FBS school.
*Rod Crayton, an uncommitted three-star defensive tackle from Dadeville (Ala.), said Tulane offered Tuesday. According to Crayton, he has talked recently with both LSU and Mississippi State. The Tigers told him they don't have many spots open, but apparently plan to keep in touch, he said. The 6-feet, 310-pounder bench presses well over 400 pounds and has looked good in practice.
*Florida State four-star athlete commit Marquez White of Dothan (Ala.) Northview said he once received 60 letters in the mail the same day from a school. White didn't say which school sent the mail, but he admitted he kind of liked the attention. "It made me feel like they wanted me," White said.
*What do the players talk about when they're all hanging out off the field? Nebraska cornerback commit Jonathan Cook of Spanish Fort (Ala.) offered this insight: "We basically talk about, if we would have played each other in high school, who would have won," he said.
*It was only one play, and the players weren't in full pads, but Florida State offensive tackle commit Austin Golson of Prattville (Ala.) certainly got a pick-me-up when he pancaked Liner in pass-protection drills. For Golson, it was a little bit of redemption. During a camp last spring in Leeds, Ala., Liner and Golson squared off four times in one-on-ones. Liner won every time, and the ultra-competitive Golson was visibly upset.
*One potentially good matchup to watch in Saturday's game: Golson, the No. 95 prospect and No. 9 offensive tackle nationally, vs. Mississippi State defensive end commit Chris Jones of Houston (Miss.). He's the No. 35 overall prospect and No. 2 player at his position.
*Colleges that have attended practices here this week include Florida State, Samford, UAB, Hinds C.C., Itawamba C.C. and East Mississippi C.C. Some big names are expected between now and Saturday.
National analyst Gerry Hamilton contributed to this report.
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