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Mid-South Spotlight: Five big rankings questions entering final 2024 update

Now that the all-star games are in the books, it's time to start thinking about final Rivals rankings for the 2024 class. Let’s take a look at some of the top Mid-South region questions on my mind heading into the meetings.

THIS SERIES: Five big Midwest rankings questions entering final 2024 update | East rankings questions | Southeast rankings questions


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Where should Lagway land in the final rankings?

DJ Lagway
DJ Lagway (Karyna Aguilar/

Florida signee DJ Lagway had a phenomenal senior season and was moved up to five-star status. That was only right since he threw for 4,604 yards with 58 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and also rushed for 957 yards and 16 more scores.

Those numbers are off the charts as Lagway had an incredible showing week-in and week-out but rankings are more than just stats, and all-star game performance has to also play a key role in the final ranking.

Lagway has all the size and physical tools in the world but he did not light it up at the Under Armour Game. Few quarterbacks ever do. There is no timing and chemistry with receivers. It’s a new playbook and one that’s usually watered down. Quarterbacks generally sit in the pocket and throw so they don’t take big hits.

To Lagway’s credit, he was the only five-star quarterback in the 2024 class to compete at all-star event. Dylan Raiola (Nebraska), Julian Sayin (Alabama) and Air Noland (Ohio State) skipped them. There is five-star talent and production when it comes to Lagway but it will be a rankings debate in the closing weeks whether he did enough to move up within the position.



Are there any other five-stars in Texas?

Xavier Filsaime
Xavier Filsaime

There are already five five-stars in the Texas state rankings with WR Micah Hudson (Texas Tech), DE Colin Simmons (Texas), LB Justin Williams (Georgia), QB DJ Lagway (Florida) and ATH Terry Bussey (Texas A&M commit) leading the way. But after strong performances from in-state players at both the Under Armour Game and the All-American Bowl there could be more names added to the list.

The ones most under consideration include Texas safety signee Xavier Filsaime, who covered like a cornerback in Orlando, Texas cornerback signee Kobe Black, who has incredible length and cover skills, Joseph Jonah-Ajonye, the Georgia defensive end signee who was one of the best-looking prospects at either event and Oregon safety signee Aaron Flowers, who was awesome in space and has a big argument to move up.

Others will be in the conversation but it looks likely that there could be other five-stars coming out of Texas.


Who’s the top player in Louisiana?

Dominick McKinley
Dominick McKinley (Parker Thune)

LSU tight end signee Trey’Dez Green is the current top player in the state of Louisiana and rightfully so. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound four-star prospect is an elite athlete who stars in both football and basketball, and someone with his size and playmaking ability could be a star in Baton Rouge.

But Green decided not to attend any all-star event and Lafayette (La.) Acadiana four-star defensive tackle Dominick McKinley did – and he dominated.

The LSU commit is all of 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, and while he’s soft-spoken off the field, McKinley turns the dial up once he gets between the lines, pushes elite offensive linemen around and he looked like arguably the best defensive tackle in the country at the Under Armour Game.

Either way, LSU will win out here as Green is already signed and McKinley flipped to the Tigers from Texas A&M on Jan. 1. The debate over who is the best prospect in Louisiana will continue to the end.



Should Terry Bussey be moved to the WR rankings?

Terry Bussey
Terry Bussey (Karyna Aguilar/

Listed as a five-star athlete, Bussey played exclusively at wide receiver during the Under Armour week and excelled there. The word is that most schools other than Alabama want the Timpson, Texas, standout to play defensive back once he gets to college but after shining at receiver, that could be rethought in the coming months.

Bussey remains committed to Texas A&M but Alabama, Georgia, LSU and others are trying to flip him in the closing weeks before signing day in February. After playing quarterback and defensive back in high school mainly, Bussey shined as a receiver at the Under Armour game using his speed and playmaking ability all over the field.

The Timpson standout would be a five-star strictly as a receiver but as an athlete, it will be hard to move someone ahead of him at No. 1 in the position rankings.



Are the Mississippi rankings right?

Braylon Burnside
Braylon Burnside (Karyna Aguilar/

The tough part about determining whether the Mississippi state rankings are exactly how we want them is that some of the top players there decided against playing in the all-star events.

The lone five-star, Ole Miss signee Kamarion Franklin, was busy watching the Rebels in their bowl game and missed the Under Armour week. Four-star linebacker Jamonta Waller no-showed the event as well.

One discussion that needs to be had is whether JJ Harrell or Braylon Burnside is the top receiver in the state. Both signed with Mississippi State and while Harrell didn’t go to an all-star game, Burnside was very impressive in Orlando. It looks like first-year coach Jeff Lebby will have some superstars to throw the ball to in the coming years.