Gene Swindoll -

Starkville wide out Cameron Gardner would be the third Starkville High Player to ink with the Bulldogs in three years.

While it did not take him long to decide, Starkville High wide receiver Cameron Gardner has been waiting his entire life for an offer the home town Bulldogs of Mississippi State. On Saturday, just days removed from receiving the scholarship offer, Gardner elected to verbally commit to Dan Mullen's team.

"I committed yesterday at the scrimmage," Cameron Gardner said. "I had been talking about everything with my family and I just felt like this was the right time to go ahead and do it."

Over the course of the afternoon, Gardner has the chance to speak with several Mississippi State coaches and get a good handle on how the Bulldogs plan to use him once he enrolls in 2018.

"I was talking with Coach (Billy) Gonzales and Coach (D.J. Looney) at the scrimmage," Gardner said. "They want to move me around and get me into mismatches that help me make plays. They are saying that they want me to play some at wide receiver and tight end. They want to be able to use me some in the slot and get me in some mismatches."

Before heading home for the day, Gardner was able to get some face time with top dawg, Mullen. The conversation appears to have been to Gardner's liking.

"I told Coach Mullen before the scrimmage that I was ready to be a Bulldog," Gardner said. "He was real excited and he told me that he was ready for me to a be part of their program. He said that he was happy to have me as part of the Bulldog family. He told me that they were glad that I committed."

With Gardner's pledge, the Bulldogs are on track to sign a Starkville High School product for the third consecutive year. Gardner would join 2016 signee Kobe Jones and 2017 signee Willie Gay on the Mississippi State roster in the fall of 2018.

"I guess Mississippi State is doing something right with Starkville players," Gardner said with a chuckle. "I talked with Willie after I committed. He is real excited about me committing. It gives us another chance to play together."

Gardner is the fifth high schooler to commit to Mississippi State for the 2018 signing class, all five are products of Mississippi High School programs. 

As a junior, Gardner caught 21 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Starkville High School won the 6A state championship during Gardner's sophomore season. The Yellow Jackets would come up short in defending that title with a 2016 record of 7-4 that saw them out of the state playoffs. Gardner and his fellow seniors are committed to changing that and getting back into the post season this fall.

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