Departure of coaches doesn't concern MSU recruits


Danny P Smith



Mississippi State''s football program hasn''t noticed any major recruiting backlash with the departures of defensive coordinator Carl Torbush and defensive line coach David Turner in the offseason.


Torbush left MSU in December to join Turner Gill''s coaching staff as defensive coordinator at Kansas, while Turner went to the Kentucky to coach the defensive line for Joker Phillips.


MSU head coach Dan Mullen announced Saturday that he''s filling the vacancies with former Middle Tennessee State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Oklahoma defensive line coach Chris Wilson.



West Point High School''s Curtis Virges and Yazoo County''s Kaleb Eulls are two defensive line commitments for the Bulldogs who have been keeping a close eye on the situation.


Even though he hated to see Torbush and Turner leave, Eulls is willing to give Diaz and Wilson a chance and hasn''t backed off his commitment.


"I''m still locked in because of the great players, the coaching staff with coach Mullen and the other commitments," Eulls said. "I got a chance to meet some of those guys and got to hang out with them. I love how everything has been going."


Virges still plans to take his official visit to MSU next weekend and isn''t upset with the changes.


"I''m not mad," Virges said. "It''s tough that (Torbush and Turner) left, but I''m still going to State. My decision wasn''t based on the coaches in the first place. It was based on the school. I''m still going to State regardless."


Tony Hughes, the safeties and recruiting coordinator for the Bulldogs, said there''s usually a concern when there are changes on a coaching staff with prospects at certain positions.


He doesn''t see it being a problem in this case.


"Overall, it hasn''t hurt us up to this point," Hughes said. "A lot of that is based on coach Mullen''s stability. The longer he stays the longer everything stays status quo."


MSU director of player personnel and high school relations Rockey Felker said there are many connections recruits make with a school and not just with future position coaches or coordinators.


Even though Torbush and Turner got close to many prospects, Felker said there''s more to the Bulldogs than just two people.


"We hated to lose both of those coaches, but there have been a lot of relationships made with a number of people here," Felker said. "They are certainly excited about coach Mullen and what they saw last year. The university does sell itself."


Ferlando Bohanna, a 6-foot, 232-pound linebacker from Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tenn., who has committed to MSU, is on campus this weekend taking his official visit.


After getting a chance to meet Diaz, Bohanna said the only thing on his mind is playing football. 


"I''m totally committed to the school," Bohanna said. "I''m coming to play football regardless of who the coach is."





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