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Mississippi State finds its replacement for Sandberg

The Bulldogs get a commitment from Georgia quarterback Staley. Dave Miller

Print This June 16, 2013, 04:00 PM EST

With Class of 2013 four-star signee Cord Sandberg choosing a $725,000 signing bonus from the Philadelphia Phillies over enrolling at Mississippi State after being selected in the third round of the Major League Baseball Draft, the Bulldogs worked quickly to land a possible quarterback of the future.

This week Dan Mullen and his staff were able to land a verbal commitment from quarterback Elijah Staley, a Rivals.com three-star recruit from Wheeler High School (Marietta, GA) who had offers from Boston College, UMass and Virginia.

The 6-6, 208-pound dual-threat signal-caller, who committed to Vanderbilt in April but decommitted when he was told that he wouldn’t be able to play basketball and football at the school, becomes a key piece of MSU's Class of 2014 because of the loss of Sandberg to the diamond. Staley, who passed for 1,804 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2012, is expected to play both sports in Starkville.

While he is raw, Staley has a chance to play early for Mullen because of little quarterback depth once Tyler Russell moves on after this season. He likely will compete with fellow dual-threat Damian Williams for the starting job in 2014 unless the Bulldogs add an experienced QB through the JUCO route.

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