Signing with Mississippi State after playing two seasons at Itawamba Community College, where he earned All-Region and All-State honors, a great deal was expected from Slay.
And he didn't disappoint, recording a total of 23 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and an interception returned for a touchdown while playing in all 13 games last season. And he may have been playing his best ball at the end of the regular season, registering 4 tackles, 2 pass breakups and 1 quarterback hurry against Arkansas and Ole Miss.
His position coach, Melvin Smith, has gone on record as saying that Slay should have a very good season in 2012. Slay agrees with his assessment.
"I worked hard in the spring and my (position) coach thinks it's my time to shine," said Slay. "I think it is, too."
A position-mate of his also agrees, pre-season All-American Johnthan Banks.
"Johnthan Banks is one of the best corners in the SEC," said Slay. "We train together and he thinks I'm one of the best corners in the SEC, too."
Add senior Corey Broomfield to the mix and Slay sees the potential for a great Mississippi State secondary.
"Fans will see the best secondary in the SEC this year," said Slay matter-of-factly.
He also expects big things from Mississippi State as a team.
"This team can be real good," said Slay. "We have a lot of talent coming in. We have twos that play like ones. We even have threes who play like ones."
Slay and his teammates begin their season this Saturday night at home against Jackson State with a start time of 6 pm.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.