Steve Robertson -

Greenwood defensive end Marquiss Spencer talks about his decision to commit to Mississippi State.

The contact period opened up with a bang for Mississippi State. Greenwood High School (MS) defensive end Marquiss Spencer offered his verbal pledge to Bulldog assistant David Turner earlier today. A long time target of the Bulldogs, Spencer has held the home state Dawgs in high regard throughout his recruitment. On Monday, he announced his intentions to join the good folks in Starkville.

"Coach Turner came and talked with me this morning," Spencer said. "He told me that he wanted me and I told him I was ready to commit."

Spencer reported last week that the Bulldogs were his leader, but that he wanted to finish out his high school career before making a final decision about his college future. GHS finished up the season with a 12-2 mark, but one step away from a berth in the 4A state title game.

With his final prep game in the rearview mirror, Spencer wasted no time in moving forward with his football future.

"I have always really liked Mississippi State," Spencer said. "I am excited to be a part of their program. I like the atmosphere over there and I like the academics. I like all of the coaches too."

Earlier this year, Greenwood High School coach Clinton Gatewood reported that Spencer had done the necessary coursework to graduate in the Spring of 2016 rather than his scheduled commencement in 2017. Just 16 years old, the 6-5 235 pound defensive end plans to report for his first college workouts next summer.

"I worked real hard over the summer," Spencer said. "I did a lot of work in summer school and I took some on-line courses. I just wanted to be able to graduate and start playing college football and getting my education."

Spencer recorded nearly 150 tackles this season with 25 tackles for loss. A disruptive force for the Bulldog defense, the talented defensive end reports that in the end his decision to attend Mississippi State was a rather easy one for both he and his family.

"Mississippi State has a good program and it's not that far from home," Spencer said. "I really like the atmosphere over there. My family is happy with my decision and they are excited for me."

With a few unofficial game day visits under his belt, Spencer will be on campus "officially" in about six weeks.

"I am going to be taking my official visit to Mississippi State the weekend of January 16th, 17th and 18th," Spencer said. "I am excited to get back over there and see what all they have planned for us."

With his college destination set for Starkville, Spencer reports that he has no plans to take any other official visits and that his commitment is firm.

Greenwood High School football coach Clinton Gatewood appears to have a feeling of closure about Spencer's recruitment.

"I know this is an opportunity he has been waiting for," Gatewood said of Mississippi State. "Once they let him know that they wanted him, he didn't waste any time in making his decision. We're all really happy for him."

Spencer is the 15th verbal pledge for the 2016 Mississippi State signing class. With his commitment, Spencer is the ninth product of a Mississippi High School program to declare for the Bulldogs in this recruiting cycle.

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