East Central’s Cumbest makes history by signing with MSU

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2017

By Patrick Magee
The Biloxi Sun Herald

HURLEY — East Central tight end Brad Cumbest officially signed to join the Mississippi State football program Wednesday morning, and made a little history in the process.

He became the first football player from East Central to sign with Mississippi State, as well as its first Southeastern Conference signee since running back Darrell Clark signed with Ole Miss in 1976.
Surrounded by family, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Cumbest signed his national letter of intent at home.

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“It feels great,” he said. “I’m truly blessed. I’m excited and I cannot wait to get to Starkville.”

He was fully aware of the history he made when he signed with MSU Wednesday.

“That’s pretty special,” he said.

Alabama and Arkansas made contact with Cumbest late in the recruiting process, but he never really wavered after verbally committing to Mississippi State in June.

Even when head coach Dan Mullen left for Florida in late November, Cumbest stayed focused on MSU.

“That’s just where I wanted to go to school,” he said.

Cumbest was one of 12 players to sign with Mississippi State on the first day of the early signing period, and as part of the first recruiting class under new head coach Joe Moorhead.

Among those added were Hinds Community College wide receiver Stephen Guidry. The No. 1 rated junior college wide receiver in the country, Guidry caught 22 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns to earn second-team All-MACJC honors this season.

The Louisiana native had originally signed with LSU out of high school, but wound up flipping to Mississippi State on the second recruiting go-round.

Mississippi State spent most of its early recruting budget on offense, with eight of the 12 signees coming from that side of the ball.

They added another tight end with Starkville’s Cameron Gardner, two wide receivers with Callaway’s Malik Heath and Devonta Jason out of New Orleans, three-star Alabama running back La’Damian Webb, and Greenwood lineman Kwatrivous Johnson.

One of the prizes of the class could be quarterback Jalen Mayden. The four-star recruit from Sachse, Texas, is the No. 17 quarterback in the country according to ESPN’s rankings, and the No. 2 dual threat QB in Texas as ranked by 247Sports.

Mayden threw for 2,170 yards and 27 touchdowns this season, and ran for 784 yards and another 13 TDs.

Defensively, the Bulldogs signed Oak Grove lineman Jaden Crumedy, Memphis lineman Devon Robinson, and Louisiana defensive back Shawn Preston, Jr.

West Point’s Marcus Murphy was signed as an athlete. The four-star recruit played quarterback for the Class 5A champions and is ranked the No. 4 overall recruit in Mississippi. He racked up 7,106 yards of total offense and 82 touchdowns in his high school career.