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July 27, 2006After getting a commitment from four-star Ravern Johnson earlier this year, the State recruiting class took a big step toward returning to prominence, but the staff was not content to sit on its laurels. To improve the class, they added another four-star athlete in Missouri City (Tex.) Willowridge small forward Kodi Augustus, when he opted to pick State. What made him choose State and what does he bring to the table?
"He's a 6-9 shooter that can go inside," commented Augustus's AAU coach John Eurey. "He's a good kid. He always wanted to play in the SEC. He is from Baton Rouge originally. He came down to Houston the stay with his aunt and just wanted to improve his academic situation, which he did.
"He is reclassified and got his grades and he is going to finish up this year.
"When I met him, his game was young. He was a thin kid. He has gained a lot of weight now though. He is 205 and he will probably max out at 220 when he is in college. He is real long, really, really, really skilled and had a desire to play in the SEC.
"We looked at Arkansas really strong and he liked it, but I didn't feel they were ready for a commitment. I think they were recruiting someone else, so he looked at Mississippi State and thought it was a great situation."
What does he bring to the Bulldogs?
"Intensity, skills, he's a big-time shooter," Eurey commented. "I know the makeup of the SEC and I don't think there are two kids that are 6-9 shooters. Whenever you have a big shooter, it changes the way you play because he can spread the defense. They already have good players there. The point guard was great last year, but he is going to stretch the defense."
While on paper Augustus appears to be a three-four type player, Eurey insists his skills place him in a different slot.
"He is a two - three," he stated emphatically. "He is a solid wing, not a four. I mean he can play down there. He played in Vegas against Drew Gordon and he had 17 and 10 against Drew Gordon and Drew Gordon only had four points. He proved his point and showed everybody that he can really, really play."
So how does Augustus feel about his decision?
"I just liked the head coach and assistant coach Kirby," he said. "The program and tradition at Mississippi State, the SEC conference, how they play and they have great facilities and stuff was what made me pick them."
He plans to sign in the early period and chose the Bulldogs over offers from Miami, Tennessee, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Arkansas. Will the LSU game have any significance, being reared in Baton Rouge?
"You know it will," he said with a laugh. He will take an unofficial visit to Starkville in two weeks, but hasn't set a date for an official visit yet.
The 6-foot-9, 205-pounder, rated the No. 18 player in Texas by TexasHoops.com, averaged 10 rebounds, two assists, four blocks, five steals and 18 points as a junior.