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July 22, 2004While New Jersey is not the place people would normally expect the Mississippi State Bulldogs to go looking for a player to lead their team into the future, the new MSU staff is new to the Starkville scene, and the old recruiting books have all been tossed into the garbage bin. Princeton (NJ) The Hun School pro-style quarterback Domenic Natale is one of their targets for the class of 2005, and the early results coming in appear to be positive. Where exactly does State stand with this top recruit?
Natale has been busy over the last several months scouting the teams he is interested in, and has already been to Clemson, Virginia, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Maryland, and Rutgers on unofficial visits. He also attended NIKE Camps at Penn State and Texas A&M and impressed at the Elite 11 tryouts in Las Vegas. He will travel to LSU this weekend and may also go to Stanford in August. Where does State fit in after all of this traveling?
"Rutgers, Stanford, LSU, Michigan State, and Mississippi State they are right in that group of five," Natale commented. "I feel like I will have the opportunity to play early there, and the offense that Coach Croom is bringing in is the same one I have been running for a long time. I think it is a good fit and they are going to turn it around pretty quick."
Natale said all of his leaders are equal right now, and if he were to take all five official visits, those would be his destinations. That won't be the likely scenario, however.
"Hopefully I will know by the time I take my first visit where I want to go, and I will go ahead and commit then," he explained. "I am pretty much looking at the relationship with coaches and opportunity to play. I want the opportunity to compete for the starting job." Natale currently has offers from all of his leaders except LSU, but hopes this weekend will result in an official letter from the Tigers.
At 6-foot-1.5 and 189 pounds, Natale runs the 40-yard dash in 4.88 seconds and has a 28-inch vertical leap. He earned first-team all-state and all-area honors as a junior after completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. He did all of this in just nine games.
Natale projects as a full qualifier with a 3.75 GPA.
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