Lead Dog

The courtship between Mississippi State and Chattanooga, Tennessee signal caller Nick Tiano continues to grow more serious. The Baylor School product made his second trip to Starkville in two weeks this past weekend for Super Bulldog Weekend. It appears that the Mississippi State program earned the mother's seal of approval at the conclusion of the visit.

Nick Tiano profile

"I went back down there," said Tiano of Starkville. "This time my mom went with me and she just fell in love with Starkville.

"She just loves those smaller, college towns and she loved everything about it."

Tiano's maiden voyage from Chattanooga to Starkville was to attend a Bulldog football scrimmage.

His return trip included another guided tour as well as the annual Maroon and White game.

"I wanted to show my mom everything and I wanted to see everything again to be sure I didn't miss anything the first time," said Tiano. "My mom got to see all of the facilities and she got to see the campus and she really liked everything.

"Once we were done with all of that, we went over to the spring game and the first coach to meet with us was Coach (Dan) Mullen."

Tiano is a long time fan of Mullen, so he was eager to introduce his mother to the coach who was instrumental in leading his favorite quarterback, Tim Tebow, to a Heisman trophy and a pair of BCS National Titles.

"When we were talking with Coach Mullen, he gave my mother his personal cell phone number and he told her that if she had any questions about anything to call him directly," said Tiano. "That meant a lot to me, but that's just how it is at Mississippi State.

"It really is a family there and the players are all real tight too.

"You just get the feeling that it's a special place and that people really care about each other.

"The main thing that has really stood out to me about Mississippi State is the people and how genuine they are.

"The coaches, the player and the fans and everybody I have met just makes you feel welcomed there."

With two visits to Mississippi State under his belt, the three star signal caller is ready to give the Bulldogs the nod as his leader.

"Mississippi State is definitely my top school," said Tiano. "I just want to go through the spring evaluation period and see how things go.

"There are supposed to be 12 to 15 schools coming to watch me throw, so I want to get through that and see what all of my options are before I make a decision.

"I feel comfortable at Mississippi State and it's not that far from home.

"I plan to go through the spring and then make my decision just before the summer."

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