Steve Robertson/Genespage.com

Mississippi State reels in four during Super Bulldog Weekend.

Mississippi State fans were able to celebrate their football program on Saturday during the annual Maroon and White game. While fans were excited to get a glimpse of the 2016 Bulldog football team, the football fireworks continued long after the game was over. Coach Dan Mullen and his staff reeled in a quartet of talented Mississippi prospects in the hours following the Bulldogs' spring game.

The first of four verbal commitments came from Ocean Springs wide receiver Austin Williams. The three star standout had held the Bulldogs in high regard for some time, but felt now was the time to tab the Bulldogs as his college selection.

"I came up here with the intention of committing," Williams shared. "I had really been thinking about doing it for a little while now. I really have a great relationship with Coach (Billy) Gonzales. He is a great coach and I can't wait to get up here and start working with him."

The official moment came when Williams and his parents were able to sit down across the desk from Coach Dan Mullen and make his commitment in person.

"I have to admit that was a really cool moment," Williams said. "I just told him that I was ready to commit and he was really excited about it. My parents love it up here at Mississippi State. My sister goes to school here, so everybody in my family was happy with my decision. Nobody put any pressure on me, but everybody is happy with how things turned out."

Williams holds offers from Georgia State, Harvard, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Nicholls State, South Alabama, Texas-San Antonio, Toledo, Troy and Tulane.

The Bulldogs added another wide receiver before the afternoon was three hours old when Callaway standout 2018 wide out Malik Heath jumped aboard the big Maroon train. Heath is the first official Bulldog pledge for the 2018 recruiting cycle.

"I have been wanting to commit to Mississippi State since the first time I went to one of their games," said Heath. "I really didn't want to wait, because I just knew that this was a great opportunity for me."

Heath chose the Bulldogs over an offer from Ole Miss and is excited about having the chance to play SEC football close to his home base of Jackson, Mississippi.

"They offered me last year after I came to camp (Big Dawg)," Heath explained. "I had really been thinking about committing since then. I really fell in love with Coach (Billy) Gonzales from the first time I worked with him. He's just a great coach.

"They want me to come up here and play as the X receiver. I feel like that fits me the best, but I can move down and play in the slot if they need me to."

While Heath still has two years of high school remaining, the talented wide out reports that Coach Dan Mullen seemed more than a little fired up to have the Callaway star in the boat.

"Coach Mullen was excited," Heath said. "He kept a business like look on his face, but he was excited. I like that he had a business approach, because I know that we have work to do."

Heath was joined on the Bulldog commitment list by teammate and friend, Aaron Odom. The pair appears to have been in talks for some time about committing to the Bulldogs.

"Aaron was talking about waiting, but I didn't want to wait," Heath said. "We have been talking about it and we talked about it again last night. We wanted to play together and it all worked out."

Odom is a long time target of the Bulldogs and was one of the first prospects in the 2017 in state talent pool to secure a scholarship offer from the Mississippi State staff. The scout National 300 member chose State over offers from Alabama, Florida State, Indiana, Ole Miss and Southern Miss among others.

The final bit of a good news came from Gautier offensive lineman Paul Gainer. Long considered a Mississippi State lean, the Mississippi gulf coast standout made his decision public by tweeting his commitment to the Bulldogs on his personal twitter account.

Gainer is one of the top offensive line prospects in his home state of Mississippi. The talented guard chose the Bulldogs over offers from Louisiana, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State and Southern Miss. Gainer becomes the third in state prospect from Coach Terrell Buckley's Magnolia State territory for the 2017 singing class.

With the three verbal pledges from Gainer, Odom and Williams, Mississippi State now has 11 verbal commitments for the 2017 recruiting cycle. With a full allotment of 25 scholarships for the calendar year 2017 and several spots remaining in 2016, the Bulldogs are expected to sign close to 30 prospects combined between the mid-year enrollment junior college signing period and National Signing Day in February.


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