Mississippi Class of 2008 Re-Rank
DeAndre Brown
FOXSportsNext
Posted Aug 8, 2012


Evaluating prospects is an inexact science. It is tough to project how players will react to being away from home, in your face coaching and all of the demands that go along with being a student-athlete. Others thrive in that environment and prove the naysayers wrong by putting together outstanding college careers. Here is a look at how the Mississippi class of 2008 panned out.

DeAndre Brown was the consensus #1 player in the state. A five star, Brown signed on with Southern Miss and had a huge freshman campaign that featured 67 grabs for 1,117 yards.

After a gruesome broken leg during the New Orleans Bowl, Brown was never able to recapture the magic.

Following his time in Hattiesburg, Brown signed free agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was later released.

Darius Barksdale was labeled a "can't miss" by some, but the former four star has had his share of issues.

After signing with Ole Miss, Barksdale enrolled at Hargrave. A year later the South Panola product signed on with the Rebels again only to be dismissed from the program.

Barksdale then transferred to Jacksonville State where he ran for 389 yards before leaving the Gamecocks for Louisiana.

Alonzo Lawrence was rated four stars and considered one of the top NFL prospects in the class.

After signing with Alabama, Lawrence left Tuscaloosa and enrolled at Southern Miss. After a short time in Hattiesburg, Lawrence elected to transfer to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Lawrence put together an All-American season in 2011 when he totaled 47 tackles and seven interceptions.

The George County standout signed on with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted fee agent, but was later released.

Lawrence never played a snap on the Division One level.

Templeton Hardy signed on with Mississippi State as a defensive tackle, but was later moved to offensive guard.

Hardy was sidetracked with a nagging elbow injury early in his career and has served in a reserve role throughout his time in Starkville.

Andre Wadley surprised many when he signed with Auburn over Mississippi State, but the bigger shock proved to be Wadley's previously undiscovered medical issues.

Wadley was rushed to the hospital following a work out at Auburn and before his career got on track it was over without ever taking a collegiate snap.

Charles Mitchell signed with Mississippi State and amassed 188 tackles and four interceptions in his career.

Mitchell was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL draft.

John Paul Alford signed with Mississippi State, but elected to give up football after one year and stay on as a student in Starkville.

Marlon Walls signed on with Tennessee before spending time at Hargrave.

Now a redshirt junior, Walls is working hard for a starting position on the Vol defense. Walls has 24 career tackles.

Bo Tillman was set to enroll at Southern Miss and elected to sit out and try to gain his eligibility.

Tillman eventually enrolled at Co-Lin and signed on with Kansas State. His clearance was delayed over a discrepancy involving a transfer credit.

KSU elected to redshirt Tillman and he eventually left the program.

Wille Packer signed on with Southern Miss and eventually left to enroll at MGCCC.

After two years at Perkinston, Packer signed with West Alabama.

Antonio Hoskins signed with Mississippi State, but failed to qualify.

Hoskins attended prep school and then signed on with ULM before leaving the program for personal reasons.

Arceto Clark signed with Mississippi State and has put together a solid career.

During his redshirt junior campaign, Clark led the Bulldogs with 442 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

Quin Sanford signed with Southern Miss and sat out for an extended time in an attempt to gain his eligibility.

Sanford eventually went on to Northwest Community College, but never resurfaced on the D1 radar.

Joshua Jackson signed with Mississippi State, but went on medical hardship following the 2010 campaign without making much of an impression.

Trevor Stigers put together solid run as a reserve defensive end at Mississippi State.

Stigers graduated after four years and elected to forego his final year of football eligibility.

Kendrick Presley put together an All-Conference USA career at Southern Miss and was a fan favorite due to his hard level of play.

Tobias Smith has fought through injuries throughout his career.

Smith has shown some flashes even earning pre-season All-SEC honors in 2011.

Smith will enter his redshirt senior season this fall as the projected starter at right guard.

Bud Barksdale signed on with Southern Miss and eventually spent some time at Northwest Community College where he put together an All-State career.

Devin Jones signed on with Mississippi State where he has played in every game of his college career.

Jones has played primarily as a reserve and totaled 37 tackles.

Ken Davis was supposed to be the next great back in Mississippi, but he was never able to get on track and went unsigned out of Tupelo high school.

A short lived comeback attempt never really got off the ground at Itawamba Community College.

Josh Tillman bounced around a little, but wound up at Co-Lin and then signed on with Louisiana Tech.

Tillman eventually left the program without making an impact.

Michael Lacy signed with Louisiana Tech out of Gulfport, but played mostly on the scout team before leaving the program.

Josh Chestang of Moss Point was a late signee by South Alabama where he worked his way into a starting linebacker spot.

Chestang tore his ACL in the final scrimmage of the spring and will miss the 2012 season.

Rashun Dixon signed with Mississippi State, but elected to sign a MLB contract.

Dixon is currently playing for the Burlington Bees in Class A. He hit his 12th homerun of the season earlier this week.

Derrick Herman signed on with Ole Miss where he played in every game of his college career.

Herman began his career as a defensive back before moving to running back and eventually receiver.

Montario Patterson signed with Mississippi State, but later left the program for Northeast Community College after Dan Mullen replaced Sylvester Croom.

Jemarcus Hardrick was expected to sign with Southern Miss out of high school, but signing day came and went without a national letter of intent.

The former two star went on to Fort Scott CC where he blossomed and earned several offers once his time was done.

Hardrick committed to LSU only to flip to Nebraska where he put together two solid years and eventually signed free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

James Brown signed on with Troy as a two star and then became an All-Conference player.

Brown signed a free agent deal with the Chicago Bears and is expected to make the team.

Austin Davis was the top quarterback in the state in his class despite being a two star.

Davis signed a baseball scholarship with Southern Miss and eventually joined the football team where he broke just about every school passing record and led the Golden Eagles to a Conference USA championship in 2011.

Vick Ballard signed with Jackson State, but elected to enroll at MGCCC to improve his stock as college football prospect.

Ballard, a two star out of high school, signed with Mississippi State as a three star over an offer from Troy.

In two years in Starkville, Ballard ran for 2,198 and 30 touchdowns and was the featured back on teams that won back-to-back bowl games.

Ballard was selected by Indianapolis Colts in the 5th round of 2012 NFL draft.



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