Jett Johnson

Lifelong Bulldog fan plans to wear the Maroon and White.

Mississippi State reeled in one of the top in state prospects earlier today when Tupelo High School linebacker Jett Johnson declared his college intentions by verbally committing to the home state Bulldogs. While the end results may not be surprising, the news of Johnson's decision was certainly good news to Bulldog fans who had been waiting for this moment to come.

"I just felt like this was the right thing for me to do and this was the right time to do it," Johnson said of his decision to join the Bulldogs. "I have a great relationship with Coach (Todd) Grantham and that really helped me make a decision. I like what he is trying to do with the defense.

"Watching him in practice, you can see him get on the players, but all of them told me that they have a great relationship with him and that he's good to them on and off of the field."

Grantham has already begun to forge a very solid bond with Johnson who reports a great rapport with all of the Mississippi State coaches.

"Coach Grantham came to see me the very first practice that he could," Johnson said. "He made me feel important to me. That's not just the linebacker coach, but the defensive coordinator coming to see me practice his first day on the road. 

"Coach (Brett) Elliot, my area recruiter, came to see me a couple of days later. They just showed me that I was important to them and that they really wanted me to be a part of their program. They really made me feel special."

Johnson chose the Bulldogs over offers from Louisville, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Troy, Tulane, Tulsa and others. The chance to play for Mississippi State was simply a dream come true for the three star linebacker.

"I grew up a Bulldog fan and Mississippi State has always been in my heart," Johnson said. "I am really close to some of the current State players already, like Erroll Thompson, Leo Lewis, Willie Gay and Keytaon and some of the other guys. That was important to me too."

Mississippi State and Ole Miss both had some family ties to the talented Johnson. In the end, the Bulldogs were able to win out and earn an important recruiting victory in the battle for in state recruiting supremacy. 

"My family was always going to be okay with whatever I decided and that helped me make my decision," Johnson said. "They're all on Team Jett and that's really important to me. Everybody in my family just wanted me to be happy and make the best decision for me."

With his decision out of the way, Johnson is able to turn his full focus towards Tupelo Golden Wave football. Coach Trent Hammond's team is expected to be a serious contender for the 6A state title this fall.

"It was sort of bittersweet last year to win all of those games and come up short of the golden ball, which was out ultimate goal," Johnson said. "That season gave us the confidence to know that we can go out and compete and do some big things. We are working hard this spring to build on what we did last year, so far things have been going good. I am real excited about the season."

Considered Mississippi's top linebacker prospect for the 2018 recruiting cycle, Johnson recorded 119 tackles as a junior, a number he hopes to surpass this fall. In addition to his own the field exploits, Johnson plans to do his part to help the Mississippi State coaching staff reel in a strong recruiting class this year. 

"I am definitely going to be helping the Bulldogs recruit and build this class," Johnson said. "I mean you want to play with the best and do good once you get there. I am going to do my best to help with recruiting as much as I can, so we can have the best class possible."

The Bulldogs now hold seven pledges that are expected to sign as part of the 2018 signing class. Johnson is the fifth Mississippi high school product that has announced his intention to sign on with State once their high school careers are done.

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