October 5, 2009

Good 'vibe' nets Georgia WR verbal for MSU

Last week, Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County athlete/receiver Keith Mumphery told SpartanMag.com that he expected to verbal to Michigan State during his official visit to East Lansing for the Michigan game. And he did just that, informing MSU and his high school coach of his plans to become a Spartan Sunday night.

"We talked with him before his visit and also a little bit afterward, and he called me Sunday night and shared with me that he had made his decision to become a Spartan and he was ready to verbal," said Dooly County High School head coach Darryl Silas. "We had more time to talk today (Monday) and that was a good thing. He is excited."

Silas lists Mumphery on the Dooly County roster at 6-foot-1, 197.

Mumphery is ranked the No. 48 player in the country at the athlete position and No. 50 in Georgia by Rivals.com. He had offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest."

Mumphery has canceled official visits that he had scheduled with Nebraska and Oklahoma State.

"He was being recruited by a lot of SEC schools, some ACC schools and many others," Silas said. "With Keith, he takes academics into consideration. He has been courted by Vanderbilt, as well as Louisville, Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia Tech. He has been offered by many schools, but he made the decision to commit to Michigan State and it was clearly his decision. Some of his family wanted him to stay close to home for the potential to watch him play. But Keith is a very mature kid for his age and he is going to make a decision that is best for him."

Dooly is located two hours south of Atlanta. Michigan State quarterbacks coach Dave Warner was MSU's primary recruiter for Mumphery.

"Keith said he loved the camaraderie on the team, he loved the environment," Silas said. "He also got to meet some of their alumni like T.J. Duckett. He talked about the commitment from the players and the coaching staff to be professional when you win. Also he thinks he can contribute immediately to their program.

"He indicated to me that he enjoyed himself and that he was impressed. Being there in that atmosphere in the overtime victory by Michigan State probably added some motivation in his decision. It was a good chance for him to go up there and get a feel for things."

As a junior, Mumphery caught 49 passes for 972 yards and 10 touchdowns. On defense, he had 78 tackles and two interceptions.

Two weeks ago, he had a pair of interceptions which he returned for touchdowns and also turned a pair of short slants into TD scoring plays of 60 yards and 55 yards.

"Basically those were 12- to 15-yard passes and then he showed how he can make things happen after he receives the football," Silas said. "He made people miss and exploded into the secondary and turned the burners on and scored.

"What's so special about him is the way he can make things happen after the catch. He is a hard-worker on and off the field. He has a GPA of a 98.0 average. He works extremely hard on the field, and helps his peers in helping to get them better as he improves as an athlete."

Mumphery camped at Florida State and Oklahoma State during the summer. He received a scholarship offer from Oklahoma State but he is set on Michigan State.

"I'm good, I'm through with it," Mumphery said.

"I liked it a lot," Mumphery said of his visit to MSU. "It was even better than I expected. It was wild. The fans were wild.

"I talked to Coach Dantonio a lot. He told me how he treated his players as if they were his sons. He said it's important to him to build trust with his players. I just get a good vibe from him.

"Coach Treadwell said he likes my ability to make plays and turn short routes into big plays."

Silas said Mumphery reminds him of former Clemson wide receiver Chansi Stuckey. Silas coached against Stuckey in high school. Stuckey had 141 career receptions at Clemson and became a seventh-round draft pick in the NFL.

"I think he has some of the ability that Chansi Stuckey had to get open, get the ball and run with speed," Silas said. "He has that type of tenacity when he hits the field. He is a competitor on and off the field. That's what I like about him."

Mumphery finished fourth in the state in the 400 meters last year, with a best time of 49.0. He focused on the 400 for team scoring purposes. He also ran for the 4 by 100 relay team. This year, Mumphery plans to run the 100 and 200 meters. He says he has run 10.5 in the past in the 100. He will try to do it under official circumstances next spring.

"I think he is quite capable of breaking into the 10s," said Silas, who serves as the school athletic director.

Mumphery hasn't had a chance to match up head-to-head against players who have committed to Division 1 schools, although he did cross into the area of Central Florida linebacker commitment Tommy Sanders when Dooly County played against Crisp County.

"As far as other D-1 athletes, Keith has not faced anyone like that yet this year, but we will see those kind of matchups down the line," Silas said. "A couple of weeks ago, Keith went against the state 100 and 200 meter champion, an 11th-grader (Coby Reynolds of Warren County). There was no match. Keith outshined that kid. Keith was able to get open. Keith is able to get open and most of the time the football sticks to his magnetic hands, and he is pretty physical."

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