Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Mississippi State signee Aaron Odom of Callaway High School (MS) talks about his final decision.

Mississippi State closed out the 2017 recruiting cycle on Wednesday with eleven talented high school players. Among that grouping was defensive end Aaron Odom who elected to sign with the Bulldogs after a short stay on the Louisville Cardinal commitment list. While the decision was good news in Starkville, it was bad news for Card fans. The entire situation left Odom in a difficult spot.

"It has been real stressful," Aaron Odom said. "It's been hard and it's a relief that it's all over now. I am happy with how things turned out. I'm just relieved. I have had a lot on my mind and now I am stress free."

Odom committed to Mississippi State very early in the process, but had some second thoughts after an official visit to Louisville the weekend of January 13th. The following weekend, Odom and his father took an official visit to Starkville to discuss things with the Mississippi State coaching staff.

Since returning home to Jackson, Odom has played his cards pretty close to the vest. After making his decision official by signing a national letter of intent to Mississippi State, Odom opened up about his decision.

"First of all, I am a Mississippi kid and I really wanted to stay close to home and represent Mississippi," Odom shared. "Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach (Brian) Baker both have experience coaching in the NFL. I feel like I am going to be coached by the best and that they can develop me into the kind of player that I need to be.

"I really like Coach (Dan) Mullen too. He stayed with me through everything and I know he always wanted me to be a Bulldog."

On signing day eve, Odom spent some time discussing the future with fellow Mississippi State signee Willie Gay. Gay's announcement Wednesday morning set the stage for a solid final day of the recruiting process for Mississippi State.

"I was talking with Willie last night about everything," Odom said. "We were talking about what we were going to do and about what it would be like to play together. We really weren't recruiting each other, we were just talking like we always do. We have really become friends through all of this. I am looking forward to playing with him."

The four star defensive end was more than ready to make the transition from recruit to signee on Wednesday. With the selection process now behind him, Odom has some words of wisdom for the next class of prospects who are set to begin their own recruitments.

"You have to keep working hard first of all," Odom shared. "You have to listen to what everybody has to say and see what everybody has to offer. You have to do what is best for you. You have to be true to yourself and make the right decision for yourself."

Odom is one of 24 Mississippi State signees in the 2017 Bulldog signing class. The Callaway standout was named to the Dandy Dozen by the Clarion Ledger and a 1st Team Parade All-American. The scout national 300 member was also selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game following a tremendous senior campaign at Callaway High.

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