There’s little doubt Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has changed the way people see the Bulldogs. More importantly he has changed the expectations placed upon MSU.
Gone are the days where a bowl bid isenough to end a season in jubilant fashion. The bar has been raised to the point to where fans are expecting New Year’s Day bowl games and players demand nothing less than a championship.
Swagger is alive and well in Starkville and with 11 commitments to the class of 2013 you can easily see the excitement building.
“Let’s face it. Alabama is just a name,” said B.J. Hammond a recent commit to MSU. “We have some commits that are better then them. We are about to be loaded at Mississippi State. We are building something that nobody can compete with. With this new playoff system, it just sets things up for us. You have to win it on the field. And that is what we are going to do.”
It’s not all talk for the newcomers, they know it requires hard work.
“It’s easy to say you are going to win a ring, but you have to be willing to put in the work to get it,” said MSU Deandre Woods who committed to State earlier this summer. “That’s what B.J (Hammond) and myself talked about. We are going to work hard and play hard and prove to the nation that we can win a ring for Mississippi State.”
Woods made the call to become a Bulldog after seeing highly touted players like B.J. Hammond committing to Mississippi State. He realized others felt the same passion he felt from the MSU coaching staff and knew Starkville would be home to some of the biggest playmakers in the SEC.
“We are both big tall receivers that can stretch the field and make play,” said Woods who caught 10 touchdowns as a junior for Clay-Chalkville. “We are going to create some big match up problems for other teams when we are on the field at the same time. We are going to be making plays all over the field. It’s going to be amazing.”
The feeling is contagious.
“The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard about Deandre was we are going to win a National Championship,” said Hammond. “Mississippi State is doing something in recruiting that nobody else is doing. And it’s not like a money thing. It’s a family thing. They are building a family, and you can’t buy family.”
It is not just playmakers on the outside, Woods sees the Bulldogs adding tremendous talent under center as well.
“I found out about Cord (Sandberg) committing. That was unreal,” Woods said. “We have a quarterback that can make plays all over the field. He can help us become better receivers and we can help him become a better quarterback. It’s just a great opportunity for us to work with one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.”
As the all-everything Florida quarterback, Sandberg can’t help be like what Mullen has in the works.
“I am really excited about the direction of Mississippi State football,” said Sandberg. “I know Coach Mullen is a good coach and will be able to use the talents of the players to dictate the offense. He is going to run an offense that plays to the strengths of the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. That is big.”
Mississippi State fans can expect the recruiting hype to continue to heat up in the coming weeks. MSU will host their annual Big Dawg Camp the third Friday in July where several commitments are expecting to roll in.