West Almond To Walk On At MSU

Mississippi State has become well known for the quality of their walk-ons. Included among that group is starting fullback Eric Hoskins. Now, it looks like another quality walk-on fullback is headed Mississippi State's way in the person of Desoto Central High School fullback West Almond (5-11, 220).

"I am walking on at Mississippi State," said West Almond, who was recruited and offered by several D-2 and junior colleges. "My coach sent some film of me to them after I told him I would be interested in going down there.

"They came up here to see Devin Jones, who has been committed to them for a while. When they were up here, they, basically, said they would like for me to walk on. They said they like how I enjoy contact, how good I come off the ball and how I finish."

And West, who grew up in a family of Ole Miss Rebels, couldn't have been happier.

"I actually come from an Ole Miss family, but I've never been into Ole Miss," said Almond. "I've become a State fan the last couple of years. It's been the college that I have been wanting to go to. A lot of friends are going there, so it's where I wanted to be."

Desoto Central's head coach, Chris Purnell, explained why he believes West was so overlooked by the D-I schools.

"He got overlooked this year because he's played out of position at linebacker," said Purnell.

Despite being overlooked, West understands why he was played mostly on defense.

"I didn't get to play as much fullback as I would have liked to, but I was needed more on defense," said Almond.

What West brings to the table is not only a guy who finishes well and loves contact, but a guy with the necessary power to block in the rugged SEC.

"I was state champion last year (in 4A power lifting)," said Almond, who squatted 500, benched 300 and dead lifted 555 last year.

And he's improved on last year's performance significantly.

"This year, I'm well above all those lifts," said the quietly confident youngster. "On my bench I'm doing about 325, squatting about 520 and dead lifting about 570."

Purnell believes he will get even stronger and bigger once he's through with power lifting.

"He's 220 right now because he's having to keep his weight down to stay in his power lifting classification," said Purnell. "He will get bigger when he's through."

The State coaches think so highly of him that they are hoping to bring him in early with the other invited walk-ons and scholarship players.

"The State coaches want to bring him in with the 105 so he can come in in August," said Purnell.

Watch West on highlights from the Desoto Central High School vs Starkville High School game -

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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