Player Evaluation: Mississippi State Commit Marquez Dortch

Mississippi State Recruiting Update

This one is very interesting indeed. Marquez Dortch – a 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver out of George County (Lucedale, MS) High School – was committed to the Ole Miss Rebels in mid-November.

By Steve Wright

On Sunday, Dortch announced he was no longer committed to the Rebels and that his recruitment was again wide open. By Monday night, his recruitment had closed once against as the star wide receiver had flipped his commitment from the Rebels to their fierce in-state rivals, the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Dortch is a 4-star prospect per the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He is seen as the No. 229 ranked player in the class of 2022 by the composite, the No. 36 wide receiver, and the No. 5 player in Mississippi. Looking at the rating of just 247Sports, however, Dortch grades out much higher. They rank him as the No. 129 player in the country – a full 100 spots higher, the No. 21 wide receiver, and the No. 4 player in Mississippi.

Dortch was one of two 4-star players to reopen their recruiting from Ole Miss on Saturday. By joining the Bulldogs he becomes their second wide receiver in the class alongside Jarnorris Hopson of Horn Lake. While the Rebels’ attack through the air is no joke, Dortch likely had his head turned by the Air Raid attack Mike Leach has unleashed in Starkville, an attack that sees the bulk of the offensive load go through wide receivers on short to mid-range passes that need to be broken for big gains with high yard after catch numbers.

Dortch has said that Ole Miss was talking about moving him to cornerback and that being the spur in his decision to change schools. This would seem to be a waste, however, as the video below shows. The very first play of the tape shows that yards-after-catch ability as Dortch catches a quick hitch at the line of scrimmage, spots a gap in the defense, then burns the length of the field for a touchdown. The route running on the play starting at one minute in is a thing of beauty – the cornerback has literally no idea where Dortch actually is – and it is noticeable that many of his biggest plays come from quick catches that he turns into big gains.

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