By MICHAEL WARDLAW
There’s an old adage in football that says you can never have too many ‘big men’ on your roster.
Well if that holds true, the Bulldogs added a good one in East Mississippi Community College product Denico Autry selected Starkville as his new home on Monday evening.
The talented defensive end helped lead the Lions to a Junior College National Championship this season and racked up 81 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 41 quarterback hurries, and forced two fumbles along the way.
“Yeah man I’m glad this is over. I’m excited about that,” said the 6-foot-5 Autry. “I have a pretty good relationship with the coaches and I watched a lot of film and man I can see myself making a lot of tackles in Coach Wilson’s defense.”
As for just how good Autry is, just ask his defensive coordinator William Jones.
“They got themselves a first round NFL Draft pick in two years. That’s how good this kid is,” said Jones. “He can take a game over, an SEC game right now. He’s like DeMarcus Ware in the NFL that’s practically unblockable with one person and a defensive player you have to account for on every play.”
As a December graduate, Autry will be able to get a head start on learning the system he’ll be playing in next fall, but that’s not something Jones sees as an issue for the defensive standout.
“Chris (Wilson) and I are really good friends and we run similar systems so (Autry) should be able to translate very quickly into what Mississippi State does,” said Jones. “I know they thought of him very highly and it would overwhelm me if he’s not starting for them from day one. I know Chris Wilson, Tony Hughes and Melvin Smith were targeting that defensive end and open side defensive end when they went out recruiting and Denico is all of that and more. “
However for Autry, he’s just glad the process is over.
“I was just tired of the process. Guys just wouldn’t leave me alone and it is during finals week,” he said. “I knew where I wanted to go so I just made my decision.”
The Rivals.com 4-star athlete makes the 24th commitment for the Bulldogs with national signing day less than two months away.