Baker quarterback Josh Flowers has decommitted from Mississippi State after rolling up 3,561 yards of total offense this season. (Tom Deck/Call News)
By ARTHUR L. MACK
Baker quarterback Josh Flowers has decommitted from Mississippi State while former Theodore and current Bulldogs defensive back Will James has entered the transfer portal.
Flowers, who led the Hornets to the first round of the Class 7A playoffs this season, decommitted after MSU coach Zach Arnett was fired on Nov. 14 after one season.
Baker coach Steve Normand said Flowers didn’t feel comfortable with new Bulldogs coach Jeff Lebby.
“He’s opened up the recruiting to other schools,” Normand said. “The new head coach has some new guys coming in and with the coaching change, Josh didn’t feel like there was the same environment under the previous coach. It seems like the new coach is trying to clean house.”
Flowers committed to Mississippi State last March, choosing the Bulldogs over Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, North Carolina State, Indiana, Tulane and UAB. As a senior, Flowers was 134-of-198 passing for 2,126 yards and 20 touchdowns and ran for 1,435 yards on 159 carries and 14 touchdowns.
Normand said several other players have decommitted because of the coaching change at MSU.
“It’s a bad time but this is a four-year decision,” Normand said. “Josh and I talked about it and he figured it was the best thing for him. I was looking forward to seeing him play for Mississippi State because I’m a huge Mississippi State fan; my wife graduated from there and I have a lot of relatives who went there. The landscape of college football is not what it used to be.”
Normand said numerous other schools have expressed interest in Flowers but he declined to name them.
“A couple of those schools have asked us not to name them because they’re trying to move some scholarships around,” he said. “But a lot of schools have looked at him. We’re just trying to find the right fit.”
James, a safety, has NFL potential, according to former Theodore coach Eric Collier. James was a late signee with Mississippi State in February and appeared in the Bulldogs’ loss to Auburn this season. He entered the transfer portal two days after Arnett’s firing.
Prior to signing with MSU, James was committed to Southern Miss but garnered a lot of interest from Power 5 schools after a strong showing in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. He signed with the Bulldogs over Indiana and Colorado.