STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen announced Wednesday the enrollment of eight new scholarship players. The six junior college transfers and two recent high school graduates will participate in offseason workouts and spring practices.
Wide receiver Leon Berry of East Mississippi Community College, kicker Sean Brauchle of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, punter Heath Hutchins of Itawamba Community College, defensive back Maurice Langston of East Central Community College, defensive lineman Pernell McPhee of Itawamba and linebacker Chris White of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College all transfer to Mississippi State with two years of playing eligibility remaining.
Defensive back Cameron Lawrence of Coldwater, Miss., and offensive lineman Sam Watts of Conyers, Ga., both attended classes on Wednesday after finishing their high school careers in December.
“We’re excited to have these players join our team in the spring,” Mullen said. “This is only the beginning of what we plan on being a tremendous recruiting class.”
Name Hometown (HS/JC) POS HT WT
2009 MISSISSIPPI STATE FOOTBALL SIGNEES
Leon Berry Griffin, Ga. (Griffin/East Mississippi CC) WR 6-1 185
Sean Brauchle Biloxi, MS (Mercy Cross/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) PK 5-9 175
Heath Hutchins Saltillo, MS (Itawamba [MS] CC) P 6-2 215
Maurice Langston Meridian, MS (NE Lauderdale/East Central [MS] CC DB 5-11 185
Cameron Lawrence Coldwater, MS (Magnolia Heights) DB 6-2 205
Pernell McPhee Pahokee, FL (Pahokee/Itawamba [MS] CC) DL 6-4 270
Sam Watts Conyers, GA (Salem) OL 6-4 290
Chris White Vancleave, MS (Vancleave/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) LB 6-4 235
Name Hometown (HS/JC) POS HT WT
Leon Berry, WR, 6-1, 185, Griffin, Ga. (Griffin/East Mississippi CC)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Named second-team junior college all-America by the National Junior College Athletic Association . . . Two-time first-team, all-Region XXIII selection as a return specialist . . . Two-time, first-team, all-state at wide receiver . . . Caught 59 passes for 1,003 yards, a 17.0-yard average, and nine touchdowns during his junior college career at East Mississippi Community College for head coach Buddy Stephens . . . Also returned 43 kickoffs for 1,126 yards, a 26.2-yard average, and two touchdowns, during his JC career . . . Also credited with 10 punt returns for 129 yards and another score . . . Ranked 13th nationally in receiving, he caught 39 passes for 661 yards, a 16.9-yard average, and five touchdowns during his sophomore season . . . Also led the Mississippi Association of Junior and Community Colleges with 19 kickoff returns for 485 yards, a 25.5-yard average, and another TD . . . Also had all 10 career punt returns for 129 yards and one touchdown during his final JC campaign . . .Caught 20 passes for 342 yards, a 17.1-yard average, and four touchdowns during his freshman season at EMCC . . . Also returned 24 kickoffs for 641 yards, a 26.7-yard average, and another touchdown . . . Helped East Mississippi Community College to an 8-2 record and national No. 10 ranking as a sophomore.
HIGH SCHOOL: Started for three seasons as a running back and cornerback for coach Devo? at Griffin (Ga.) High School . . . Helped the Bears to a 22-3 record
during his final two prep seasons . . . Griffin finished third in the state during his junior and senior seasons, ending his senior campaign with an 11-2 mark.
PERSONAL: Born Leon Berry, 1/21/88, in Griffin, Ga. . . . Son of Mr. Leon Berry and Ms. Magnolia Berry . . . Once featured in Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd . . . Voted Mr. EMCC by the student body.
Sean Brauchle, PK, 5-9, 175, Biloxi, Miss. (Mercy Cross/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)
HIGH SCHOOL: Played running back, defensive back and place-kicker for head coach Rocky Gaudin at Mercy Cross High School in Biloxi, Miss. . . . Helped Mercy Cross to a three-year, 20-7 record including playoff berths in his final two prep seasons . . . Named first-team, all-state following his junior and senior seasons as a place-kicker . . . As a senior for the Crusaders, 60 of his 72 kickoffs resulted in touchback . . . Also named all-district as a running back . . . Also an honor roll student in the high school classroom.
PERSONAL: Born Sean Michael Brauchle, 2/3/89, in Biloxi, Miss. . . . Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Brauchle . . . His father also played football at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Heath Hutchins, P, 6-2, 215, Saltillo, Miss. (Saltillo/Itawamba [Miss.] Community College)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Punted 93 times for a 44-yard average during his two seasons as a junior college punter . . . Selected first-team, junior college all-America punter by the National Junior College Athletic Association . . . Chosen first-team, All-Region XXIII punter by the NJCAA . . . Named pre-season All-America prior to his sophomore campaign . . . Led the nation in punting during his sophomore campaign, averaging 46.1 yards on 69 kicks, with a season-best 69-yard boot . . . Had a string of six straight games during his sophomore season in which he pinned the opponent inside the 2-yard line, and 25 of 42 inside the 20 for the year . . . Also handled the kicking duties the final five games of that season and missed just one field goal . . . Named all-state by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges following his freshman season . . . Led the state of Mississippi and ranked sixth nationally in punting as a freshman, averaging 41.8 yards per punt . . . Had a season best 57-yarder during his first JUCO season . . . Thirty of those 55 punts came to rest inside the opponent 20-yard line . . . Played for head coach Jeff Terrill at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College . . . Also an outstanding student in the junior college classroom . . . Committed to MSU in November 2008.
HIGH SCHOOL: Rated the No. 1 punter at the Ray Guy Punting Academy following his senior season . . . Played at Saltillo (Miss.) High School as a freshman, junior and senior . . . Spent his sophomore year in high school at Wynne, Arkansas.
PERSONAL: Born Heath Hutchins, 3/6/88 . . . Son of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Hutchins . . . Also a competition duck caller and outdoors photographer.
Maurice Langston, DB, 5-10, 185, Meridian, Miss. (Northeast Lauderdale/East Central [Miss.] CC
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Named first-team all-Region XXIII and first-team, all-state by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges as a wide receiver for head coach Steve Cheatam at East Central (Miss.) Community College . . . Also named first-team, all-Region as a return specialist . . . Led the nation in touchdowns, scoring 21 as a sophomore as both a kick returner and wide receiver . . . Caught 44 passes for 658 yards, a 15-yard average, and seven touchdowns . . . Also rushed 54 times for 267 yards and 10 more TDs . . . Averaged 31 yards per punt return during his sophomore campaign for the Warriors, leading the nation in that category, and scoring two touchdowns . . . Added 22 yards per kickoff return and another score . . . Credited with running a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash by recruiting web site Scout.com . . . Committed to MSU in December 2008 . . . Other top scholarship offer: Kentucky.
ARKANSAS STATE: Redshirted his true freshman season as a defensive back.
HIGH SCHOOL: Selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama High School All-Star game following his senior season of high school . . . Two-way starter at quarterback and defensive back for head coach Steve Nelson at Northeast Lauderdale in Meridian ... Threw for 1,765 yards and 17 touchdowns on 108-of-175 passing (.617) while rushing 182 times for 1,179 yards (6.5 yard average) and another 15 touchdowns ... Returned punts 77 and 71 yards for touchdowns ... Averaged 25 yards per punt return and 27 yards per kick return ... Tossed just four interceptions as a senior, earning first-team all-state recognition ... Timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash ... Ran 10.7 seconds in the 100-meter dash and qualified for the state meet in the triple jump while helping to break the school record in the 4x400 relay (3:32) ... Nominated for the Old Spice Red Zone Player of the Year ... Helped guide team to a 7-4 record and a spot in the Class 4A playoffs ... Named an all-state pick by the Mississippi Association of Coaches and by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger ... Tabbed all-area by the Meridian Star ... As a junior passed for 1,200 yards and rushed for just over 1,000 and 12 touchdowns for the Trojans ... Also a standout basketball player on the high school level, averaging over 20 points per game ... Honor student on the high school level.
PERSONAL: Born Maurice Sanchez Langston, 4/26/88, in Meridian, Miss. . . . Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Houston.
Cameron Lawrence, DB, 6-2, 205, Coldwater, Miss. (Magnolia Heights)
PERSONAL: Born Cameron Aaron Lawrence, 1/20/91, in Altus, Okla. . . . Son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Lawrence . . . His brother Addison also plays for the Bulldogs.
Pernell McPhee, DL, 6-4, 270, Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee/Itawamba [Miss.] CC)
HIGH SCHOOL: Only played one year of high school football . . . Starred on both sides of the football for head coach Leroy Foster at Pahokee (Fla.) High School . . . Played offensive tackle and defensive end for the Muckers . . . Registered 75 total tackles, including 35 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback sacks during his senior season . . . Also forced 12 fumbles . . . Helped lead Pahokee to a 14-0 record and the Florida State Class 2B Championship . . . Named all-state following that season . . . Also a two-year starter in basketball on the prep level . . . Other top scholarship offers: South Florida and Central Florida . . . Signed with Southern Mississippi out of high school.
PERSONAL: Born Pernell McPhee, 12/17/88 . . . Grandson of Ms. Lela Osborne.
Sam Watts, OL, 6-4, 290, Conyers, Ga. (Salem)
HIGH SCHOOL: Played four years of varsity football at Salem High School in Conyers, Ga., starting the final three seasons of his career on the offensive line for head coach Chad Estes . . . Played offensive guard as a freshman, offensive tackle as sophomore, and center the final two seasons . . . Named all-state during his senior season . . . Helped lead Salem to a pair of regional championships and nine-win seasons as a freshman and junior . . . . Outstanding student in the high school classroom with a 3.96 grade point average, 12th in his senior class . . . Committed to MSU in February 2008.
PERSONAL: Born Samuel Alton Watts, 10/10/90, in Starkville, Miss. . . . Son of Son of Mr. and Mrs. Lin Watts, who are Mississippi State University graduates.
Chris White, LB, 6-4, 235, Vancleave, Miss. (Vancleave/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Named first-team all-America and first-team all-Region XXIII by the National Junior College Athletic Association following his sophomore season . . . Selected the Mississippi Most Valuable Player in the inaugural Mississippi Bowl, which pitted Mississippi Gulf Coast against Georgia Military Institute, two of the premier junior college programs in the country . . . In addition to being a stalwart on defense for MGCCC in that game, he caught a touchdown pass as a blocking back in a short yardage situation . . . Led his junior college team to back-to-back state junior college championships, making 204 total tackles . . . Had four pass interceptions and four fumble recoveries, returning three for touchdown . . . Helped head coach Steve Campbell’s Gulf Coast team to a 10-2 record and to a No.4 finish in the final NJCAA poll . . . Recorded more than 100 tackles on the season for the Bulldogs . . . Picked up a fumble and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown against Pearl River Community College in the state title game . . . Returned another fumble 81 yards for a score . . . Also intercepted two passes . . . Named first-team pre-season all-America by the National Junior College Athletic Association prior to his sophomore season for head coach Steve Campbell’s Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College team . . . Led MGCCC to the junior college national championship, playing middle linebacker, during his freshman season . . . Totaled 87 tackles for the Bulldogs that year, earning second-team all-state recognition . . . Also had a pair of interceptions and scored two touchdowns . . . Credited with running a 4.52-second 40-yard dash by recruiting web site ESPN.com . . . Other top scholarship offer: South Florida . . . Committed to MSU in August 2008.
HIGH SCHOOL: Selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama High School All-Star game following his senior prep season . . . Started for four years for head coach Jim Bloomfield at Vancleave (Miss.) High School . . . Made 267 total tackles during his high school career, with 20 tackles for loss, 13.5 of which were quarterback sacks . . . Had eight fumble recoveries and a pair of pass interceptions, one he returned for touchdown . . . Helped guide the Bulldogs into the first round of the state playoffs his final three seasons . . . Selected Region 7 most valuable player following his senior campaign . . . Also rushed for 604 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense . . . Named both the team’s offensive and defensive most valuable player as a senior . . .
PERSONAL: Born Christopher Andrew White, 1/15/89, in Mobile, Ala. . . . Son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Myrick.