"My commitment to Mississippi State is 100%."

Dakota Merritt, an offensive/defensive lineman who plays for West Florida High School of Advanced Technology in Pensacola, Florida, talks about his official visit to Mississippi State.

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"I liked the visit a lot. It was really fun. The atmosphere was great," said Dakota, who was hosted by Johnny Carpenter. "It's a country town and I liked the people there."

He was also extremely impressed with State's weight room.

"I liked the weightroom that they just got. They have brand new equipment in it. It's just real, real nice," noted Dakota. "We also have a new strength and conditioning coach. We got the (former) Alabama coach, Ben Pollard."

The players also impressed him as well.

"I spent everyday with the players. There were better than I expected because they were really down to earth," said Dakota. "They were just cool people to hang out with."

He previously visited Mississippi State during the season, so you wouldn't expect there to be too many surprises, but there was one.

"The biggest surprise was the food," said a laughing Dakota. "That's probably not the normal thing you are supposed to say when asked about a visit, but they have great food."

They definitely must have fed him some food because Dakota said, "they measured me yesterday. I was 6-6.5 and weighed 298 pounds."

As for his commitment to MSU, that's as solid as he is big.

"My commitment to Mississippi State is 100%," said Dakota, who chose MSU over offers from Clemson, North Carolina State, Central Florida as well as several other schools.


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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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