At Hailstate Takeover, we love MSU sports. I specifically love college football. But one thing that has always intrigued me is recruiting. Sure, it can be easy finding studs like Leo Lewis and Jamal Peters. But it’s those 2 and 3 star recruits that turn into stars that always give me the biggest rush when they succeed. Guys like Dak, Benardrick McKinney, Jonathan Banks, Preston Smith. I could go on and on. It makes me wonder what process Dan Mullen uses to find these guys. I love high school football and chances are you will find me at a different high school every Friday night.
So we have decided to feature one “diamond in the rough” recruit each month. What makes them a diamond in the rough could be anything from having few to no offers, not being rated highly, or at all, on the various recruiting sites or even being an absolute unknown to most everybody besides the high school they play for. We will also discuss how they could be used in Mississippi State’s system if they were to receive an offer from State.
This month, we have decided to focus on the one position everyone looks at and pays close attention to on each team, the QB. This young man hails from the town I now live in, Pell City, Alabama. He attends Victory Christian School, a small 1A school in the AHSAA division. His name is Harrison Cheatwood. I first saw Harrison during his sophomore year and instantly knew he was a stud. Harrison currently doesn’t have any D1 offers, but I expect that to change there on into the year.
Harrison stands at 6’1, 180 pounds. He has a very long frame and has plenty of room to add weight and muscle mass. He has a long stride and gets across the field in a hurry. He is very fast and can also use power when need be. He has a cannon attached to his shoulder, with impressive accuracy in downfield passing. He runs a system very similar to Mullen’s system. Here are his junior year highlights.
He has a very good sense of pocket awareness under pressure, and he has a knack for escaping the pocket. He is also just as good at throwing on the run. He plays on the defensive side of the ball at safety and fields kick and punt returns. He is a true athlete. Harrison was unanimously voted the 1A Region 5 Offensive Player of the Year in 2016. I spoke with Coach Mark Saunders, who has coached Harrison the last 3 years, and this is what he had to say.
“He is a very coachable kid and is not afraid to be a risk taker that makes huge plays on the field. There were so many times his playmaking ability saved our team and won ballgames. He’s got an unbelievable amount of fight in him. You can’t keep him down. He will do whatever it takes to win. He will only get better as he keeps playing” -Coach Mark Saunders
Looking at how he could fit into State’s offense, he could be used in a variety of ways. It’s always good to have depth at the QB position, and though it looks like we are set at QB for the next couple of years, it’s not a bad idea to take another QB in this next class. He also could be moved to the WR spot. He has amazing speed and steady hands. Another way he could be used is on the defensive side of the ball. He has played Safety, but could also probably move to OLB in the right weight room program. We all know Dan is able to turn players into stars playing positions they didn’t play much in high school (Benardrick McKinney), so the opportunity for a successful career is there for Harrison. Below are his junior year stats.
Passing- 130-213, 2222 yards, 25tds, 10ints.
Rushing- 144 attempts, 968yds, 7tds
Offers- No current D1 or D2 offers.
If you know of a young player who you feel could be considered a diamond in the rough, please email us a highlight video and a bio to: