For most of those years, Mississippi State has been the beneficiary of the vast majority of the players. Included among them are junior All-American Mario Haggan, freshman linebacker Brandon Downing, redshirt freshman defensive end Robert Spivey, and redshirt freshman quarterback Curtis Kemp.
Seemingly ready to continue that tradition are senior linebacker Kenny Kern, who committed to Mississippi State this past summer, and senior free safety/quarterback Darren Williams, who committed to Mississippi State yesterday (Monday, Sept. 24).
I caught up with Darren last night. He was watching Fred Smoot and the Washington Redskins on the television in between answering telephone calls from recruiting folks like me.
Darren, who is one of the top 50 players in the nation, told me that the determining factors behind his commitment was, "my family. I wanted to be around them. I am going to play defense and (Mississippi State) has one of the best defenses in the nation, if not the best defense in the nation. I think I am a perfect fit."
Playing on what he feels could be the best defense in the nation fits right into what is going on at Clarksdale High School right now. As Darren said, "we win championships in Clarksdale. I am ready to carry that tradition to Starkville."
Even though Darren has committed to MSU and is ready to carry the Clarksdale High School championship tradition to Starkville, he knows that he will continue to be highly recruited. However, he seemed to be sure that he has made the right decision. "I'm in now. I'm firm (with my commitment)," said Darren.
Although Darren said, "I don't feel like I will miss anything by not taking any (recruiting) trips," he did say that, "I may take a little outing if I don't have anything to do some weekend. I'll probably take my family with me."
Switching gears, I asked Darren how his current teammate Kenny Kern was doing this season. Darren told me to hold on for a minute. When he got back on the phone, I was happily surprised to hear him say that Kenny was on the telephone with us.
Kenny told me that he was excited to see Darren commit to Mississippi State. However, Kenny was not the only player in the state that was happy to hear that Darren has committed to State. Darren, who is good friends with Brandon High School's star running back Jerious Norwood, said that, "I talked to Jerious today. He said 'are you for real, man'."
While I was talking to Kenny, Darren, who was watching the Green Bay and Washington NFL football game, chimed in with the statement that, "Smoot had just made a pick (interception)." Yep, Darren is a Bulldog.
Both players appeared to be very excited about this year's Mississippi State recruiting class. In fact, according to Kenny, "I think we are going to have a great class."
Darren, a very confident young man, went a step farther and said, " I think we are going to have one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, if not the best recruiting class in the nation. I think we are going to win a national championship (at Mississippi State)." He even said if he could talk to recruits, "I would tell other recruits do like Nike, 'Just do it'."
Darren obviously loves to talk and, like former MSU Bulldog Fred Smoot, can back up his words. When I asked Kenny if he loved to talk as much as Darren, he said,"no, I do my talking on the field." And folks, he isn't just saying that either. Kern's 48 tackles in four games, while not playing four full quarters in most of them, is a lot of talking, folks.
As I ended our conversation, Darren said something to me that appeared to be directed to the MSU fans who check out my page, "we are in the family now."
With the likes of Kenny Kern and Darren Williams in the Mississippi State family, MSU fans can continue to be excited about what the future holds for Mississippi State football.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://www.genespage.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.