Dominating Dominic

After playing backup linebacker his freshman season at Hinds Community College, Dominic Douglas came on strong his sophomore season at HCC by leading Mississippi's junior colleges in tackles. His efforts earned him several D-I scholarship offers. And he took the offer from Mississippi State. And he's made quite an impression on MSU defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson since he's been at State.

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"Some players come in and are very tentative until they are sure of themselves, but he's not like that because he's very aggressive," said Coach Johnson, "When he makes mistakes, he makes them full-speed. He's a physical player who creates collisions. He's not just tough, he will attack you. Dominic can be a dominant player, but right now he's not as consistent."

Dominic also went against MSU starting center Royce Blackledge a few times during the spring. And Royce really liked what he saw.

"He is a hardworking guy who gives it his all every play," said Royce. "He is going to be a big key on our defense this year."

Dominic was that same type player in junior college at least when given the chance his second season of juco ball.

"I backed up Rory Johnson my first year at Hinds," said Dominic who was lightly recruited out of high school as a 6-0, 195-pounder linebacker at Clinton (MS) High School. "No one really showed much interest in me during the spring of my freshman year. But in my second year I was first in tackles in the state and ranked in the nation also."

Then, four-year schools started taking notice.

"I received offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Ball State and Kent State. Auburn and Alabama also called me," said Dominic.

He ultimately chose Mississippi State primarily due to one reason, or maybe I should say due to one man.

"I chose Mississippi State because I really liked (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom," said Dominic. "And my family also liked Coach Croom. When he came down to my house he really impressed my mom."

But one other school initially had an advantage over all the schools including Mississippi State.

"To be honest with you, my first choice was Ole Miss," noted Dominic. "I thought Rory Johnson was going to be there and I thought I would be able to help by coming in and starting."

But the Croom effect kicked in and it was all over for Ole Miss.

"But then Coach Croom showed a big interest in me and said that I had the capability of starting at Mississippi State," explained Dominic. "And I liked his attitude of hard work. When I was growing up, that was what I was used to - hard work. That was what really drew me to his program."

And that attitude of hard work and God-given talent is not only paying off but impressing the right people.

"I had a good spring and the coaches told me that they liked what they saw. Coach Johnson told me that he likes my talent and my speed," said Dominic, who is now 6-2, 228 pounds of pure muscle (see a current picture of him to the left). "And I've gotten faster since I've been working with (MSU Strength) Coach Ben Pollard. He really pushes us real hard."

While Dominic feels he's a pretty solid linebacker, he knows that he's still a work in progress.

"I feel I am great against the run. But one thing that I need to work on is my coverages ability," noted Dominic. "You try to figure out your weaknesses and work on those during the off-season."

And he's hoping his summer of hard work will pay off early in the season.

"Hopefully, when we play against LSU I'll have a pick," said Dominic with a slight laugh.

As for his new team, he has high expectations for them based on what he saw during the spring and their efforts so far this summer.

"My expectations for this team is to get to the SEC championship (game)," said Dominic matter of factly. "A couple of years ago Arkansas was 3 and 8 and the following year they won the SEC West. We can do something like that. We just need to come together as a team."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.


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