One Last Ride

Blaine Clausell and a talented group of seniors will take the field at Davis Wade Stadium for the final time this weekend when the Bulldogs host Vanderbilt. With a fifth winning season and bowl invitation secured, the Bulldog redshirt seniors will leave Starkville as the most decorated senior Bulldogs to ever wear the Maroon and White.

Blaine Clausell profile

"It's been a great experience," said the veteran left tackle. "I have learned a lot and made a lot of good relationships, the lifetime type of friendships. I don't regret a single day of the entire time I have been here at Mississippi State."

What most may not remember about Clausell and his recruitment was the Bulldogs had to come from behind to overtake Southern Miss who held the early lead for the Mobile, Alabama native.

The Baker High School product got it all figured out and became the first prospect to announce his college intentions at Mississippi State's Big Dawg camp. Clausell put the first wheel on the wagon that has now carried close to twenty Bulldog announcements at the annual late summer's camp.

"I feel like I made the right choice," said Clausell with a grin. "Once I got a chance to come on the campus and be around the coaches and see the type of program that they were trying to build, it was just a great fit for me."

The program has grown mightily in Clausell's time on campus. The Bulldogs have made a habit of going to a bowl games and winning big games.

"We have created a family here," explained Clausell. "The fans are family and they believe in us. We have some of the best facilities now and we have a great program.

"There is not one thing that is not better today than it was when I got here. There's not one thing that just stands out. It's all better.

"The one thing that means the most to me though is being part of this family."

Clausell bought into the promise of a potential championship at Mississippi State. Dan Mullen showed up and had Clausell dreaming big dreams, now those dreams are more reality than fantasy.

"I get kind of emotional thinking about how long the ride has been," said Clausell. "It's a great feeling to see how far we've come since the first day I stepped on campus.

"Coach Mullen said that we were going to compete for championships and now here we are. I hope all of the other guys who decide to come here buy in and keep this thing going."

The mainstay on the blind side credits Bulldog O line boss John Hevesy for much of his development as a football player.

"It's been a great relationship," said Clausell of his rapport with his position coach. "The more I bought into the program, the more I understood what all Coach Hevesy was trying to teach me. I feel like we have a great relationship. I am really grateful to him for giving me a chance when a lot of other people didn't. I am thankful for everything he did for me."

#75 will run out of the tunnel on Saturday and meet his family on Scott field during senior day recognition. The big, physical blocker admits to being humbled by the thought of those moments.

"It's going to be emotional, man," Clausell shared. "Starkville is like my home. I graduated from high school early and I have been here since that January after I graduated.

"It is going to be tough knowing that this is my last time playing in this great city.

"This game is big like all of the other games and we want to get a win in our last game here. It's going to be really emotional signing the fight song at the end of the game."

After senior day, Clausell will get the chance to battle for the Golden Egg one last time, but there is a lot more than in state bragging rights at stake when the Bulldogs take the field up at Oxford.

Currently ranked #4 in the college football playoff rankings, Mississippi State is still in the mix for a potential national championship game berth.

"I hate to say that all of this started with our class, but now that we're seniors we have a chance to do some great things here before we leave," said Clausell. "We've had some great memories and done some big things, but we're not done yet."

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