"I started having second thoughts (about my commitment to Alabama) and starting thinking about Mississippi State during the summer, probably late July," said Mangum, who initially committed to the University of Alabama. "I decided to commit just a few days ago. I looked at all the pros and cons and I knew where I wanted to be."
One of the pros on Mississippi State's side was who some of his future teammates would be if he chose MSU.
"I played with a lot of guys this summer on the Dulin Dodgers team who are committed to State," said Mangum. "The State commitments are Luke Alexander, Keegan James and Austin Riley. I've been playing baseball with Luke Alexander since I was eight-years-old. This was my first summer to play with Austin and Keegan.
"I enjoyed playing with them and decided I wanted to continue playing with them. Plus, I liked Starkville, too."
He made his commitment official prior to the Alcorn State-Mississippi State football game.
"I actually committed to (assistant) Coach (Nick) MIngione first," said Mangum. "Then I talked to (head) Coach (John) Cohen after that. It was prior to the football game."
As you would expect, both coaches were excited to hear the news.
"Coach Ming was excited; everybody was excited," said Mangum. "It was really the same reaction (from both). It was like welcome aboard with open arms."
He also had a chance to meet some of the current Mississippi State baseball players prior to the football game.
"I saw a few of the players before the game," said Mangum. "They knew about it and were pretty excited about it."
He also was able to tell longtime friend and future teammate Luke Alexander.
"I talk to Luke (Alexander) just about every day," said Mangum. "He knew (that I was thinking about it) for a few weeks. He was happy and excited that I did it and wished he had been there yesterday but he plays high school football and can't always get away for the weekend."
Luke Alexander believes Mississippi State is getting the complete package in Mangum.
"He is always hardnose, high intensity, always running wherever he goes," said Alexander, who has played summer baseball with Mangum six of the last nine summers. "And he's a good leader."
He's not only a high energy player who is a great leader but he's also great both offensively and defensively.
"He can hit well, and he can lay down the most beautiful bunt that I have ever seen in my life," said Alexander. "(Defensively) I think I have only seen him make one error since he was eight-years-old. I've seen him make diving catches all the time. He's unbelievable."
Mangum is a plus runner who topped out at 85 miles per hour on the mound at the July, 2013 Perfect Game WWBA National Championship tournament. His honors include being selected to the 2013 Perfect Game Underclass All-American Team as an honorable mention selection. He was also named to the Perfect Game 2013 World Wood Bat Association 16U National Championship All-Tournament team after batting .522 in the event.
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.