Willie Gay (Allen Trieu / Scout)

Starkville All-American linebacker Willie Gay recaps his official visit to Mississippi State.

While most of the nine visitors to Mississippi State this weekend may have needed some directions, hometown hero Willie Gay knew exactly where to go when he arrived on campus. The Scout four star standout reports that the chance to sit down and spend time with Bulldog coaches and players was time well spent.

"The visit went good. It really did," Willie Gay said. "We got to do pretty much everything. Kobe (Jones) was my host, so we had some fun together. I have been over there a lot, so I had seen everything before. I just had a good time with everybody."

The Bulldog visitors were able to tour the facilities, meet with academic advisers, enjoy some down time with their player hosts and attend the Mississippi State men's basketball game against Texas A&M. Coach Ben Howland the the Bulldogs won their third straight SEC game, but one of the highlights for Gay came when the Mississippi State student section started a "We want Willie" chant.

The gesture clearly caught Gay's attention.

"It was really special to hear all of those people cheering for me," Gay said. "It really meant a lot to me that I could be that important to all of these people."

The weekend also provided Gay the chance to sit down and visit with newly hired Bulldog defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Gay reports that his initial impressions of the veteran linebacker coach was positive.

"I am just really getting to know him," Gay said. "He seems like a good guy and a good coach. He told me that he liked my speed and he liked how I played the game. He said that I would be a great fit for the defense."

Before making the drive back across town, Gay had the chance to sit down with Coach Dan Mullen and discuss a possible future in the Maroon and White.

"Coach Mullen told me that everybody in Starkville loves me," Gay said. "He told me that there are a lot of people here that look up to me and there are a lot of people that are proud of me. He said that I don't need to leave them. He said I could stay home and do great things right here in Starkville."

With official visits to Michigan, Mississippi State and Ole Miss under his belt, Gay has one final trip planned and that is to LSU. The all expense paid excursion to Baton Rouge will take place next weekend. The weekend before signing day will remain open as the All-Everything standout considers his college future.

"I am still keeping everybody even until I take all of my visits," Gay shared. "I am looking for a family and a place where I feel like I can play early. I am not that worried about how many snaps I play, but I want to play early. I want to have a chance to help the team."

Gay plans to announce his college decision on National Signing Day just like his friends and former teammates did last season. That produced a Bulldog in Kobe Jones and a Rebel in A.J. Brown. Fans of both programs will certainly be interested in what Gay ultimately decides. 

As a senior, Gay accounted for 83 tackles, two passes defended and an interception. In the final weeks of the season, Gay made the move to quarterback where he did his best to run Starkville into the state playoffs with 565 yards on 81 carries in just two games.

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