"Honestly, I have known since about the 9th grade that I wanted to go to Mississippi State," Paul Gainer said. "I have just always liked the school and the football program. I have just felt like that's where I wanted to go all along. I feel like I have always been a Bulldog deep down."
Gainer is part of a recent run of recruiting successes for Mississippi State in the early going of the 2017 recruiting cycle. Now part of an eleven man class, Gainer already has a connection to a pair of other pledges who are slated to sign with the Bulldogs next February.
"I have really just been waiting for the perfect time to make my decision public and I felt like the spring game was the right time," Gainer said. "I was visiting with my buddy Austin Williams and we were both talking about committing, so it just seemed like the right time for both of us."
Gainer and Williams are part of a trio of Jackson County, Mississippi prospects who have recently committed to Dan Mullen and his staff. While Gainer reports that he was set to be a Bulldog, having some familiar faces around him made it that much easier to make the call.
"I am not going to say it was a major factor for me, but it's nice to know that I am going to have some friends up here," Gainer said. "I am friends with Austin Williams (Ocean Springs) and James Jackson (Pascagoula) and we all knew we were going to Mississippi State.
"I didn't make my decision, because of them. At that same time, it's just sort of a bonus, because I will be able to enjoy all of this with them too."
While the recruiting process will not completely reach an official end until pen meets paper on national signing day, Gainer reports that he is firm in his decision and eager to help the Bulldog staff fill out the remaining spots in the 2017 class.
"I can't say all of this was ever a real big worry to me," Gainer said of the recruiting process. "I am relieved that I know where I am going, but it's not like a huge weight has been taken off of my shoulders. It just wan't like that for me.
"When I committed to Coach Mullen, he gave me a big ole hug and he was real excited for me. This is a great opportunity for me and I am going to do what I can to help recruit. I don't know who all they want, but I am going to be doing my part to make sure we have the best class possible."
Gainer's area recruiting coach is Coach Terrell Buckley. Buckley has joined the Mississippi State staff and has begun to really establish himself as one of the Bulldogs' best recruiters.
Gautier fell to Pascagoula in the annual rivalry game to close out the 2015 season. Gainer and a talented group of seniors will look to get even this fall and hopefully extend their season into the post season.
Gainer is one of eleven Bulldog pledges for the 2017 signing class. He chose the Bulldogs over offers from Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss. The 6-5, 290 pounder projects as an offensive guard on the college level.