More Good News for MSU Commitment

After committing to Mississippi State this past Saturday at their junior day, Templeton Hardy didn't think it could get any better for him. But Wednesday brought even more good news.

Templeton Hardy Profile Page:

"I found out today I am invited to play in the (ESPNU) All-American Game in Orlando, Florida," said the still excited youngster of the special selection.

The last seven months leading up to his selection to the game have been an amazing journey for the 6-4, 295-pound youngster.

While most prospects start receiving recruiting letters beginning the summer prior to their junior season, Templeton hadn't received a single recruiting letter heading into January, 2007. Then, with the help of North Panola (Sardis, MS) High School head football coach Vincent Johnson, Templeton started seeing an amazing amount of interest from college coaches.

"(Coach Johnson) was very interested in me and (teammate) Bruce (Wilborn)," said Templeton. "And he helped us out a lot."

In Templeton's case to the tune of an almost unbelievable 16 scholarship offers in a five month period that began with a February 21st offer. And we aren't just talking any kind of offers because Templeton received offers from many of the top colleges programs in the nation, including half of the SEC schools (Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee) three Pac-10 schools (UCLA, USC, Stanford), three Big 12 schools (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M), three Conference-USA schools (Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane) and one Mountain West Conference member (San Diego State).

"I was excited about the offers," said Templeton, who is rated the 16th best defensive tackle in the nation by "I felt like I was wanted by the schools."

But despite the nation-wide attention, Templeton ultimately decided a school just two hours from his hometown was the perfect fit for him.

And he pulled the trigger during Mississippi State's Saturday evening Junior Day.

"(MSU assistant) Coach (Melvin) Smith said they were going to be after me and try to get me to come to State," said Templeton.

But Templeton made it easy on Coach Smith with his response immediately after that statement.

"I told him I already know what I want. I want to commit now," said Templeton, who came to the event with his parents and nine-year-old brother. "I also told the (MSU) defensive line coach (David Turner). Then, they took me back to tell (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom. He shook my hand. Then he said he was real happy and told me welcome to the family."

Templeton explained the reasons behind the early commitment to State.

"I really like Mississippi State because it is closed to home and I like the coaching staff," said Templeton. "The players were very friendly and made me feel like I was at home. It was just a good atmosphere."

Another factor was his little brother.

"My brother kind of looks up to me and I wanted to be close so he could come watch me play," said the four-star recruit. "He was with me Saturday when I committed. He was happy that I did."

Templeton is one of 11 players who have committed to Mississippi State. And like the other 10, Templeton is not only a great athlete on the field, but just as good in the classroom as evidenced by his 3.3 grade point average and 18 ACT score.

Watch Templeton in action during the 2006 season.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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