On the final play of the 2015 Big Dawg camp, Malik Heath laid out for a pass deep in the Davis Wade Stadium endzone. Before Heath could reel in the errant throw, he crashed into the Scott Field fencing. A few smiles and an ice pack later, Heath learned that he had done enough to impress the Bulldog coaches. An offer to join the Mississippi State program followed shortly after.
This summer, Heath was back on campus working as a recruiter rather than a recruit. Despite having two years of high school football left, Heath has become one of the Bulldogs' top assets when it has come to attracting attention from top level in state talent.
"It was a little different this year," Heath said. "Last year, I sort of snuck up on them. This year, they were targeting me a lot more. I felt like I needed to come out here and show people what I am about and that I'm an even better player than last year."
Heath took a ton of reps during the one-on-one portion of the camp drawing challenges from defensive backs from all backgrounds. The future X receiver took on all comers regardless of age, skill or classification.
"There was a lot of great competition out here, but I am used to having to compete," Heath explained. "All we do back at the school is compete. I am used to it. There were some good players out here, but this is what we do all of the time."
In addition to the one-on-ones, Heath enjoyed having the chance to work under the direction of his future position coach, Billy Gonzales. Heath reports that every time the two get together that he walks away with something new he an add to his arsenal.
"I always learn something new when I work with Coach Gonzales," Heath said. "It was great working with him again. It always is. I am glad that I am going to have a coach like him coaching me when I get up here."
The challenge for Heath is to take what he has learned this summer and put it all on tape this fall as the Chargers of Callaway compete in Mississippi's rugged 6A classification. The versatile play maker believes his team can have a big campaign this fall.
"I believe we can go all the way," Heath said. "We just need to stay focused and buy into the system. I feel like if we all listen and just stay coachable, that we can do some big things."
Likewise, Heath believes that some great things are in store for Mississippi State over the course of the next few years.
"I am trying to see Mississippi State #1 again," Heath said. "I am looking for them to get a championship. It's been a long time coming and I want to see them get one. I want to be a part of that and do some big things up here."