Four years ago Mississippi State hired Dan Mullen its new head football coach.
Immediately he was embraced by the maroon and white faithful due to his confidence and willingness to prove Mississippi State could be a winner.
As part of his changing of the MSU culture, Mullen vowed to remain loyal to the athletes in Mississippi. He promised he would recruit the state first and give Mississippians a place to go and win championships.
At this point, Mullen hasn’t won a championship, but he has certainly dominated Mississippi in recruiting as he has signed 67 athletes from Magnolia State programs during his time at MSU.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have this group of young men and I know four years ago we said we were going to make an emphasis on Mississippi and I think we’ve signed more players form Mississippi than any other Division I program in the state and I know over the last four years, we’ve sign more than all the other Division I schools combined in the state,” said Mullen. “We are going to add 13 more (Wednesday) from the state of Mississippi joining our program and we can keep that foundation alive.”
Actually when you consider the three early enrollees, the Bulldogs have added 16 Mississippi athletes to the program.
While he credits his coaches with being able to find the talent and sell them on the way the Bulldogs go about their business, Mullen also sees post season success as a reason players want to be a part of the Bulldog family.
“It is a tribute to what we’ve been able to build, what our fans have been able to build with the excitement around this program,” said Mullen. “We are becoming more prevalent on the national stage and everyone gets to see that by going and winning back-to-back bowl games. I congratulate our staff for a fantastic job with recruiting all of these guys, some for two or three years. They’ve done a great job of working with all of them and we will continue to work with them.”
Kids in Mississippi have also come to know that Mullen is certainly willing to give players a shot to earn early playing time.
“I have no problem with all 23 of them playing as freshmen,” Mullen said. “We want to make sure we put them in a position to be successful. When we feel they’re ready to step on the field and can significantly contribute, we go play them.”
As the Bulldog staff now turns their attention to spring football and the signing class of 2013, they still stand behind Mullen’s original message of winning champions in Mississippi with Mississippi kids.