East Mississippi Community College defensive end Denico Autry has verbally committed to Mississippi State. Photo by: Photo submitted by EMCC
December 13, 2011 7:06:00 PM
STARKVILLE - A few weeks removed from winning a National Junior College National Championship at East Mississippi Community College, defensive end Denico Autry gave his verbal commitment to the Bulldogs program Tuesday afternoon.
In Wednesday's edition of The Dispatch, you will find a complete recap of the 24th commitment to the MSU recruiting class by the four-star prospect out of EMCC.
Since Autry is eligible to graduate from EMCC early, he will be able to sign with the Bulldogs program on Dec. 21 and enroll at MSU this next semester in order to be eligible for spring football workouts.
Autry led all Lion defensive linemen with 81 total tackles (54 solos and 27 assists), including a team-high 11 sacks and 13 other tackles for loss. The Albemarle, N.C., native was also credited with 41 quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles on the season.
I began my conversation about Autry with EMCC defensive coordinator William Jones has MSU fans comparing the commit to former MSU player Pernell McPhee - a transfer from Itawamba Community College that came to MSU and is now a significant contributor to the NFL's Baltimore Ravens this season. Jones stopped me mid-sentence for a simple declaration.
"Let me stop you there - he's better than Pernell," Jones said. "He can take a game over an SEC game right now."
Autry, a four-star prospect by most of the recruiting services, is a pass rushing specialist that will be looked to contribute on MSU's defensive line when he arrives this summer.
"Pass rushers are hard to find and ones that can win one-on-one matchups are even harder to find," Jones said. "If he'll take the coaching, he'll be one of the best at Mississippi State there's no doubt in my mind."
At the start of summer workouts this August, Autry will be the only player in the MSU locker room that knows what it feels like to win a national championship. East Mississippi defeated the previously unbeaten Arizona Western College in this year's NJCAA Football Championship Game played Dec. 3 in Yuma, Ariz. Autry one of two Lions players to be named to the 2011 NJCAA Football All-America first team Monday.
Autry, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound prospect, chose MSU over other scholarship offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, Miami (Fl.), Oregon and Tennessee.
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