A rising star in the coaching ranks is reportedly a strong candidate to be the next coach at Mississippi State. Joe Judge, who is the New England Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach and a Mississippi State alumnus and former assistant coach, has emerged as having a strong chance to replace Joe Moorhead.

Football Scoop reported that, “Mississippi State officials met with Judge yesterday. He is slated to meet with the New York Giants today. Source adds that Mississippi State believes they have a very strong chance at landing Judge as their next head coach.”

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic similarly reported, “Judge has emerged as a strong candidate for the Miss. State head coaching job. A former #HailState player and assistant with strong ties to MSU, Judge was a name we were told to keep an eye on all along.”

Judge grew up in Pennsylvania and played at Mississippi State beginning in 2000. After his playing career, he immediately joined the staff as a graduate assistant. Then he coached linebackers at Birmingham-Southern for one season before he joined the staff at Alabama with Nick Saban, where he assisted with special teams. Then he was hired in New England.

Judge served as special teams assistant for three seasons before ascending to the coordinator role after the 2014 campaign.