The day started with promise. As Tyler Williams prepared to take the field for the 4A state championship, he simply hoped to make some positive plays in hopes of leading the Commodores to a win.
On the second play of their first offensive possession, Williams snagged a pass and raced 77 yards for a touchdown.
At halftime, the Commodores had built a 20-0 and eventually held on to win the 4A crown over Poplarville, 27-12. The moment when Williams saw the the clock count down to zero, he simply could not wait to get his hands on the Golden Football.
"That was a great feeling," Williams said still beaming from the moment. "I still can't believe it. We worked so hard and this was really the fulfillment of a dream. It's one of the greatest feelings of my life. We had won the state championship before at my school, but this was my first time playing for it."
Once the locker room celebration ended, Williams made the move across campus to join the other official visitors at Mississippi State who were preparing for their second evening in Starkville.
"It all started after the game and it was great," Williams said. "I had the chance to talk to a lot of other guys who were are going to be at State next year too. It was good to just sort of talk and get to know each other better. I enjoyed myself and I enjoyed getting to know everybody."
One Bulldog that did not need to introduce himself to Williams was freshman corner Cam Dantzler who serves as the official host for Williams throughout the weekend.
"Cam has been my friend for about two years already," Williams said. "We started talking on social media a couple of years ago and I met him in person this year at Big Dawg camp. He is already like a brother to me.
"Cam told me all about the things that they have to do and about how hard you have to work. He told me that they're really looking forward to me being up there next year."
As the state's top senior corner, Williams was selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game. While that honor was something Williams worked his entire life for, the talented cover man has elected not to join his All-Star peers in Montgomery, Alabama this week.
"I elected to pull out of the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game," Williams shared. "I really wanted to play, but I have so many thing that I need to do in order to graduate in December. I could have probably gotten it all done, but by being gone this week I am not sure I would have graded out as well as I could.
"I would have missed a lot in my classes this week and I just didn't want to take that chance. I am graduating and enrolling early at State, so I feel like it's just better for me to be here and work on my academics.
"I am going to be cheering for everybody from home. I just feel like this was the right decision for me and my future. I got a little banged up over the course of the season, so I want to give my body the chance to heal and be ready for spring practice when I get to State."
Williams reports that the official visit to Mississippi State is the only visit that he plans to take. The three star standout is also planning to sign his grant in aid paperwork on December 14th in anticipation of January enrollment in Starkville.