Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Mississippi State verbal Tyler Dunning works with his future position coach, Peter Sirmon, for the first time

A talented crop of college football prospects from south Florida visited Mississippi State on Friday as part of their college tour. One of the most interested in the stop over in Starkville was Bulldog verbal commitment Tyler Dunning. The St. Thomas Aquinas standout linebacker had the opportunity to work under the direction of MSU defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon.

"I love him as a coach," Dunning said of Sirmon. "I think he would be a great mentor and coach once I get here. I know that he will make me better as a player and a person."

Going through the positional drills, Dunning was always at the front of the line. While it appeared that the line leading responsibilities were part of the plan for Sirmon, Dunning reports he wanted to be first to show his future position coach that he could take both initiative and coaching.

"It felt good, because I knew he wanted to see me and work with me," Dunning said. "He showed me a lot of attention and he wanted to see me run and run and things like that. I wanted to show him what I could do. It was a lot of fun."

Dunning chose the Bulldogs over offers from LSU and Miami among over a dozen other options. While the euphoria of that initial moment has passed, the four star linebacker reports that his feelings about Mississippi State have only strengthened.

"My relationship with Mississippi State is great," Dunning said. "I have no plans to change my mind. I am 100% committed. "

As one who is prolific on social media, Dunning has done his best to aid in the Bulldog recruiting efforts by contacting several Mississippi State targets and encouraged them to take a long look at Dan Mullen's program. On Friday, Dunning was able to meet some of those prospects in person for the first time.

"It was good today," Dunning said of the visit. "I got to hang with a couple of other prospects and with a few of the players. I got to know a few of them and just had the chance to spend some time together."

"I have been having a great response from the other prospects, but I can't really share the status right now. Me and Willie (Gay) are building a great chemistry right now. We are talking about doing some great things together in the future."

With his own college decision settled, Dunning is now ready to turn his focus towards his senior season at St. Thomas Aquinas. The program has some lofty expectations this fall.

"My goal is to break the sack record at St. Thomas Aquinas, lead my team in tackles and lead my team to another state championship and hopefully a national championship," Dunning shared. "I think we have the chance to have a big year this year. I am looking forward to it."

Before the scout National 300 member straps on the high school pads again, he hopes to have at least one more trip to Starkville to spend some time on campus at his future college home.

"I am planning to come back July 22nd (Big Dawg Camp)," Dunning said. "I am not sure yet, but I hope to be back up here then and have another chance to be with all of the players and coaches again."

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