As the fall semester comes to a close, Pierce looks back over the time he has spent away from the game he loves with a new level of maturity.
"It was tough being away from football, but I did what I needed to do," said Pierce. "I missed playing and all of that, but all I can do is just blame myself for that.
"Having the year off was kind of good in other ways though. I don't have any injuries and I have been working out a lot to get ready to play again, but the main thing I needed to do was get my school work done."
Pierce has been working towards qualifying this fall with an eye on January enrollment at Mississippi State. The talented tight end has remained for the most part in seclusion when it comes to media attention, but Pierce raised a few eyebrows when he posted a picture of himself alongside Mississippi State assistant Billy Gonzales recently.
"Coach G came to see me and he told me that they still wanted me to come be a Bulldog," said Pierce. "I am really blessed that Mississippi State has been so patient with me. They believed in me and they stuck with me through all of this.
"I am planning on being up there next month."
With the spring semester set to begin in a few weeks, Pierce is awaiting the final word to clear the path for his enrollment at Mississippi State.
"I have done all of my work and I am just waiting to hear that I'm good," said Pierce. "Everything is going to be good. I worked hard and I learned a lot through all of this. It's helped me grow up a lot. I am ready to start playing again and I really appreciate all of the coaches at Mississippi State for giving me this chance."