"I've just verbally committed to Mississippi State," said the 6-7, 305-pounder.
He explained why Mississippi State won out over all the other schools.
"First thing is it is a good location where my friends and family can come watch me play," he said. "I love all the coaches. They are all good people and they want to win big at Mississippi State.
"I also feel that I, along with my fellow commitments and recruits, can come in and make a difference at Mississippi State and change things."
Because his commitment was such a big deal to him, Derek made it a point to personally meet Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom face to face to give him his commitment.
"You can only do this one time and I wanted to make sure I told him personally," said the very humble youngster.
And Coach Croom's reaction?
"He was ecstatic. He gave me a big old hug," said Derek
Derek was probably just as excited as Coach Croom.
"I am really excited," he said. "I finally feel I found the place where I should be, where I belong. I am going to be a Bulldog."
Derek joins previously committed offensive linemen Addison Lawrence (6-4, 250), Colton Jenkins (6-4, 284), D.J. Looney (6-1, 292), Quentin Saulsberry (6-2, 275) and Dakota Merritt (6-6, 290), a signing class that, potentially, could wind up being the best group of offensive linemen to ever sign with Mississippi State in one recruiting class. And Derek, who was told by MSU offensive line coach J.B. Grimes that he has a good chance to be an Outland Trophy candidate before he leaves MSU, could be the cornerstone of that group.
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.