Once he received a scholarship offer from Mississippi State, it didn't take Mark long to decide what school was the right fit for him.
"After the (MSU) offer last week, my family, friends and I talked about it and we just thought that Mississippi State was the right place for me," said Mark. "We decided it was a great fit for me, so we went ahead and decided to (commit) to Mississippi State. Going ahead and getting this out of the way was the right decision for me. Now I can focus all of my time on my high school senior season. And it allows me to play my butt off every game and help my team win."
When did he commit to State?
"I called (MSU assistant) Coach (Freddie) Kitchens on Tuesday and told him the good news," said Mark, who also has offers from Central Florida, Southern Miss and Samford. "He was thrilled. My dad had talked to him the day before and asked him some questions. Then, I called him on Tuesday. He said Coach Croom was very excited about it. And Coach Grimes was also excited about it. Coach Kitchens also said he was excited that I went ahead and committed this early. That showed him that I really wanted to be at Mississippi State. And they want players that want to be there."
He explained the reasons behind his commitment to State.
"(MSU Head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom has put together a great staff," said the 6-4, 272-pounder. "I just have great things to say about the whole staff. (MSU offensive line) Coach (J.B.) Grimes is a great offensive line coach. I got to meet their strength coach, Coach (Jim) Nowell and I like him a lot. They have the ingredients for success with their coaching staff and their new facilities. Mississippi State is a program that is on the rise. "
Playing in the SEC was also a factor in Mississippi State's favor.
"That was another big thing because they are a big-time SEC school," said Mark, who is also drawing serious interest from another SEC school, Vanderbilt. "You don't get a whole lot better than playing in the SEC West."
Although he has now committed to State, Mark said the MSU coaches won't ease up on their recruitment of him.
"(Coach Kitchens) said that they would continue recruiting me the same as if I hadn't committed," said the All-Shelby County selection. "And that they are going to come watch me play some games and watch my progress my senior year."
Now that he has committed, is he through with recruiting?
"Yes sir, I'm through," he said. "I've had other schools say they are still going to offer and will still recruit me, but this is a solid commitment. I'm only going to take my Mississippi State official visit."
Will he miss all the hoopla that goes with being recruited?
"No sir, Mississippi State was the right fit for me and I'm real happy and excited about (my decision)," said Mark, who will be follwing in the footsteps of his father who is a graduate of Mississippi State.
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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.