Top 2017 Linebacker Returns to Starkville

Mississippi State had the chance to host one its' top defensive targets for the 2017 signing class on Thursday. Buckhorn High (AL) product Will Ignont made a return trip to Starkville to spend some time with the Bulldog staff and become more familiar with new Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

"I have offers from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia, Tennessee, Nebraska, Troy, Southern Miss, Charlotte and now Mississippi State," Ignont said. "I didn't really expect all of this so early.

"I have been playing running back my entire life. I never really felt that fast, but this past spring my coach wanted me to take a couple of reps at linebacker. I played a lot at linebacker my sophomore year and that worked out pretty good. A lot of schools like me at linebacker now.

"I never really expect to be in this position right now, but I am extremely blessed to have the opportunities that I have."

With today's spread offenses forcing defensive units to defend the entire field, linebackers have to be more athletic than ever before. The rising junior reports that he enjoys being in the middle of the action.

"I prefer playing inside linebacker," Ignont said. "I feel like it's easier for me. I can read plays better and I enjoy giving the hit rather than taking it all of the time."

Ignont shows up in Starkville on Thursday looking to learn some things to help him be a better player and to see more of what Mississippi State had to offer.

"Coach Diaz taught me a lot," Ignont said. "I liked all of the drills that we ran and I feel like he got a lot out of us today. He really makes you think and he shows you how to get the ball quicker."

Before returning home, Ignont had the chance get some face time with Mississippi State head football coach, Dan Mullen.

"Coach Mullen told me how glad he was that I came over here today," Ignont said. "He told me that they would love to have me and he wanted me to know how glad they were to see me again."

This summer's camp marks the second year in a row that the New Market, Alabama star made a camping trip at Mississippi State.

"I have always had interest in Mississippi State," Ignont said. "They have a great legacy of linebackers with Benardrick McKinney being the last great one. I came over here last year and I worked with Coach (Geoff) Collins and I liked it here. I asked my mom if we could come back this year and that gave me a chance to get to know Coach Diaz better."

Ignont denies a favorite and reports that he plans to keep an open mind for the forseeable future and to keep his focus on his high school team's success.

"I think we have a good chance to go undefeated in the region if not the whole regular season," Ignont explained. "I am not being cocky, but I know how hard we work in the summer and how much we put in. We are going to be really solid on defense. Our defensive tackles have a lot of offers, one has 15 and we have some really talented receivers on offense. I think we have the chance to have a great team."

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