[Premium article] Will Prosser has grown up a Bulldog fan his entire life. Living in Starkville with a father who graduated from Mississippi State and a mother that has always cheered for State, it was almost a given that he and his brother would become Bulldog fans. "I have always been a big Bulldog fan," Will said. "Both of my parents are big State fans. I guess it kind of rubbed off onto me and my brother."

The odd thing about it is, although he was a Bulldog fan and played sports, Will thought he would play a sport other than football if he was given an opportunity to play for Mississippi State. "I never thought I would be a football player. I always looked forward to playing baseball for State. I didn't like junior high football. Then in high school, football kind of took over."

And did it ever take over.

In the 10th grade, his first year to start on the high school level, he earned all-conference at quarterback. However, because he suffered a broken leg late in his 10th grade season, he was not able to play football in the 11th grade.

He didn't let that set him back, though. He just let his strong work ethic take over and then came back with a vengeance his senior year.

He led his team to a 10-2 record and was chosen first team all-state and all-conference in the Mississippi Private Schools Association. He was named the Male Athlete of the Year in North AAAA among all private schools. He was the most valuable player in football, basketball and baseball among North AAAA schools and played in each of those three sports' Mississippi Private School Association all-star games. He was also named to the Columbus (MS) Commercial Dispatch all-area football team. Plus, he was selected to the MPSA All-Star Game where he caught the eye of a lot of folks due to how well he played wide receiver during the game. He caught 7 passes for 126 yards.

He had always wanted to play wide receiver at Starkville Academy but the team needed him at quarterback so he played that position during his career at SA. However, an opportunity arose to play wide receiver during all-star practices and he quickly took advantage of it. "When we got down to all-star practice we had three quarterbacks. They were going to rotate us so I told the coach that I would like to play wide receiver the entire time. I like it a lot better than quarterback."

Playing so well as a wide receiver during the all-star game really didn't really surprise Will. "When I went to the summer camps at State, I played wide receiver. The (State) coaches would come by and watch me. I usually did pretty good playing wide receiver at their camps."

With his high school career over, it was now time to start thinking about his college career.

Although he grew up a Bulldog fan, he still wanted to look at all of his options. Meeting the Mississippi State coaches alleviated any doubts about where he should go to college. "I really like the coaching staff. You know they are good coaches based on what they have done during the past few years. Once I met the coaching staff and took my visit, there was no other place I wanted to go."

On the first day high school and junior college players could sign with colleges during the spring signing period, Will signed with Mississippi State as a wide receiver.

His dream had finally come true.....or had it?

Will was given an option that had never been given to an MSU football signee before. Over the course of the past few years, a few Mississippi State signees had decided to enroll at State part-time during the fall of their true freshman year. All the other times this has happened the signees had been injured during a summer all-star game or had been academically ineligible. Will was neither, but he had a unique situation.

I'll let his father, Sidney Prosser, explain it. "He was 17 and really should have been in the 12th grade this year. We didn't know to hold him back. The more we looked at it, the more we realized it gave him time to lift weights and run. After basketball last year, he weighed 180. Now he weighs 205. Now, he still has five years to play four years. We convinced him this was the best way to go and now I think he is glad he did it this way. It allows him to ease into it coming from a very small school."

Will, a 3.4 student in high school with a 26 ACT to his credit, took the advice of his parents and attended State as a part-time student. Not only did he attend class, but he also attended MSU football practice every day as an observer and worked out running and lifting weights on his own every day. Will was without a doubt a Bulldog in his heart if not physically playing between the chalk lines on the practice fields.

With his dream put on hold for a short time, Will knew his day would come soon enough. And on December 19, 2001, at approximately 7:30 that morning, it did: Will once again signed a national letter of intent to play football for Mississippi State. He was now a Mississippi State football player.

And the household of Sidney, Jennifer and Andy Prosser look forward to watching their son and brother play for the team they have rooted for their entire lives.

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

Gene's Page Top Stories