Mississippi State received the dreaded news this afternoon which struck a major blow to its defensive front. Over the last week or two there has been growing speculation on whether or not former Last Chance U star would be eligible to play week one against Charleston Southern, and it has finally been announced he has been ruled academically ineligible for 2017 season. Rivers began his collegiate career at the University of Georgia where he was dismissed from the team following multiple marijuana arrests. Rivers would then make his way to EMCC where he became a star on the defensive line for the Lions.
Rivers, who was the number one rated juco DE in 2017, was expected to make an immediate impact on a defensive line that is expected to be much improved from a year ago. The Bulldogs signed nine juco guys on the defensive side of the ball in an attempt to make an immediate turn around from last year’s disaster. Earlier this month safety Brian Cole, another juco signee, was also ruled academically ineligible. With Rivers and Cole forced to redshirt, it adds to the questions on the defensive side of the ball. With Rivers ruled out, you can expect redshirt sophomore Fletcher Adams to step in and fill the hole. While Adams is more than capable of filling the hole left by Rivers, the depth on the defensive front will take a huge hit. One good thing that could come out of this situation though, is having an experienced Adams alongside Rivers next season which could be a devastating one two punch in the middle of that defensive line.