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Mississippi State lands two-sport athlete Elijah Staley

Jun 14, 2013, 3:53 PM EDT

Michael Holahan/Augusta Chronicle Michael Holahan/Augusta Chronicle

It’s been a good week for Mississippi State on the recruiting front.

Already having received verbal commitments from two members of the 2015 class in Joseph Struggs and Dante Scott, Mississippi State has landed 6-6 small forward Elijah Staley.

Staley, who attends Wheeler HS in Marietta, Ga., announced his decision to the public via the new social media app Vine. Staley informed the coaches at Mississippi State (as well as his other two choices: Miami and Virginia) earlier this week.

Highly regarded for his talent as a dual-threat quarterback, the left-handed Staley will play both sports in Starkville. The desire to play both sports in college was a sticking point for his original school of choice, as Staley de-committed from Vanderbilt in April after learning that he would not be allowed to do so there.

Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Ray actually offered Staley a scholarship more than a year ago. Ray recruited Staley since he was an assistant at Clemson and really put on the full pursuit once he arrived in Starkville.

When the football staff also offered Staley a scholarship, he knew it was the place for him.

“They said I’d definitely have a possibility of playing early because they only have two quarterbacks,” he said. “They said they’d work with me on the basketball thing. I’d have a chance to come in and compete for the starting job early.”

While Staley has the option to play both sports at Mississippi State, he did state in the story written by John Talty of the Clarion-Ledger that he’ll ultimately go with the sport that gives him the greatest opportunity to play professionally.

But that’s a conversation for another day, as Staley’s commitment is good news for a program that didn’t enjoy a great amount of success in 2012-13.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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