- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi State salvaged what looked like a non-descript recruiting class by adding a pair of homegrown defensive linemen.

Jeffery Simmons and Kobe Jones were part of a 19-person class that signed with Mississippi State on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Simmons was the biggest surprise - he picked the Bulldogs over Alabama and rival Ole Miss.

“He is a first-class young man and I see him being the next Fletcher Cox or Kaleb Eulls or Pernell McPhee,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “You are talking about some of the top defensive linemen to ever play here. He has that work ethic and that demeanor of being a special player.”

Mississippi State’s class wasn’t necessarily highly-regarded by recruiting analysts, but Mullen is confident that the Bulldogs continue to build momentum after winning 19 games over the past two seasons.

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Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: No

Best in class: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Macon, Mississippi.

Best of the rest: Kobe Jones, DL, Starkville, Mississippi. Said Mullen: “We are looking for work ethic and high-character young men and he fits that for us.”

Late addition: Simmons.

One that got away: A.J. Brown, WR, Starkville, Mississippi. The Bulldogs couldn’t grab an elite prospect at a high school just a few miles from their campus. Instead, he went to rival Ole Miss.

How they’ll fit in: Simmons and Jones are two guys who could contribute immediately, but Mullen has a reputation of bringing young players along slowly.

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For the full list: https://www.hailstate.com/

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