"It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up," said left handed pitcher David Hayes. "I had a lot of different offers, but I just felt that Mississippi State was the place where I can go and grow. I felt that I just had more opportunities at Mississippi State and I really liked the atmosphere when I visited. The coaches are all really good. I am going to enjoying playing for a coaching staff like them."
Perhaps the Bulldog coach Hayes got to know the best during the recruiting process was future position coach Russ McNickle.
"Coach Russ McNickle was the coach who recruited me," said the 6-2, 175 pound lefty. "I have always been the type of person who really wanted to know the person I was going to be working with, so getting recruited by Coach McNickle was a big deal for me."
One of the options Hayes had was from the Auburn Tigers, but the facilities at Mississippi State gave the Bulldogs an unsurmountable advantage.
"It was in awe when I saw all of the resources that Mississippi State has to offer," said Hayes. "It was pretty dumbfounding for me. I had never seen anything like that before. I really enjoyed it."
David took his official visit to Starkville at the very end of August as the Bulldogs were getting ready to begin football season.
"I took my official visit during that Thursday and Friday of the Mississippi State football game with LSU," said David. "Jason Nappi was my host. He seemed like a real good kid. I had heard of him because he is from around here. He seemed to be well mannered and he seemed to be enjoying his time as a Bulldog."
The fact that Mississippi State is fresh off a trip to the College World Series has been enjoyable for Bulldogs of all shapes, sizes and ages. David expects to keep that level of excitement going when he gets to be a part of it all.
"I am excited about being a part of the program and I hope we'll be able to go to Omaha when I am there," said David. "The players all seem to be good kids. None of them had big egos. They were all easy to relate to. I felt that I could talk with them easily. They made me feel really welcome. It's obvious that Coach Polk is doing some good things there."
Mississippi State was one of eight schools who offered the southpaw a scholarship, but his decision to become a Bulldog receieved unanimous support in the Hayes household.
"My family was so excited about it," said David. "They were leaning towards Mississippi State before I was, but they weren't going to try to persuade me one way or another. Once I announced to them that I was going to go to Mississippi State, they were all really excited about it."