While the commitment to Mississippi State has brought joy to Brignone and his family, the past few weeks have also brought great sorrow due to Hurricane Katrina.
"My home got totally destroyed flat to the ground," said Brignone, who lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, an area that was devastated by the Hurricane. "My dad went down there for a week and worked in knee-deep mud. But there's so much toxin in the water, I told him that I didn't want him there."
With his home destroyed, Brignone and his family moved to Georgia to live with relatives. He also was able to join the local high school football team.
"I moved to Liburn, Georgia where I'm playing for Parkview High School," said the 6-1, 290-pounder. "The team treated me like I had been playing here since I was a freshman. When I walked in here, they were more than happy to be my friends. That was very honorable on their part."
Although the transition to a new team was made easier due to the hospitality of the players and coaches, one thing that wasn't so easy to adjust to was the size of his new school.
"They only thing tough is I keep getting lost in the school because it is so huge," said Brignone. "The graduating class is something like 600+. I came from a school that had a graduating class of 73. Their senior class is bigger than our entire school! This is like a movie where the small town country boy goes to the city. It is overwhelming at times."
While it's been a little confusing for him to find his classroom, he's felt right at home on the football field....at least after a couple of plays.
"The first play of the game I had a deflected pass," said Brignone, "but the second play of the game I had a personal foul for roughing the quarterback. I had to get that first hit out of the way because I hadn't hit anybody in two to three weeks."
And he's done well since settling down.
"During the first game, I had 5 tackles, three quarterback hurries and the pass deflection," said Brignone. "In the second game, I think I had 4 or 5 tackles."
One of the reasons he's played so well is due to the number of players a big school has compared to a small school.
"The difference here is the number of players," said Brignone. "Last year, when we played Oak Grove High School, we had a really good chance in the first half, but when they came out in the second half, they had an entirely new defense and new offense. And we were playing guys both ways. That wore you down. However, here, I have a chance to get a breather."
One place he hasn't had a breather is in his recruitment. September 1st was the first day that coaches were able to contact recruits by phone. And Brignone had his share of calls...and text messages.
"I got in touch with UL-L and MSU by text message," said Brignone, who has offers from both of those schools, as well as from Rice and Arkansas State. "And LSU got in touch with (St. Stanislaus) Coach (Casey) Wittman by telephone, who then got in touch with me. Since I've gotten up here, Georgia and Georgia Tech have also contacted me. Georgia Tech called me and Georgia got in touch with my coaches about me. They wanted to get me up there (for an unofficial visit)."
However, one school, because of their loyalty to him, stood out.
"I really like Mississippi State because they've treated me really well," said Brignone, who took his official visit to MSU this past weekend.
After he was at Mississippi State for a few hours, he told one of the MSU coaches he was ready to make his commitment.
"I was in a meeting with (defensive line) Coach Brick Haley and I told him that I was ready to be a Bulldog," said Brignone. "He told me that (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom's in the other room and that I could tell him. I went in and talked to Coach Croom for about 10 minutes and then told him that I made this visit for a reason. I told him that I'm ready to make my commitment."
And Coach Croom was more than happy to accept the commitment from this Scout.com three star player.
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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.