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October 3, 2013Mississippi State got some rough news this past week with the loss of offensive lineman Tyler Jones out of Stephenson (Ga.) High School flipping to North Carolina State. That was countered with some big news with the addition of MRA offensive lineman Sean Rawlings committing to the Bulldogs on Thursday night to play next season.
"I was ready," Rawlings said. "This has been a long process and once I got that State offer I was relieved and really excited. I've always had a good relationship with all of their coaches and I love the university. I'm just ready to be a Bulldog."
Rawlings grew up in Mississippi in the middle of the bitter Egg Bowl rivalry cheering for the opposite side of the stadium as an Ole Miss fan. He said it was tough to change his allegiance but everything feels right in Starkville.
"It was difficult to think about but it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I decided in the spring after I put all of the weight on that this was what I was going to do, play college football. After I decided that, I said that whoever I was going to play for my family would support and support me behind that. I did grow up as an Ole Miss fan, but I love Mississippi State now."
With those thoughts creeping up among fans on if his former favorite was to offer, Rawlings closes those out quickly. The standout lineman assures fans and his future coaches that he is a man of his word.
"I am going to shut it down. I talked to Coach Mullen about that Saturday on my visit. He told me that once I committed I have to be 100% bought in. I don't take commitments lightly so once I commit I'm bought in."
Rawlings took the long road to get to MSU and is the blueprint of a player that Mullen and his staff want on board. Coming to the summer camps and being evaluated by coaches turned out to be the ultimate path to the SEC.
"It was a really long process. I went up to camp twice at Mississippi State this past summer. The first time was at the beginning of the summer when I was putting the weight on and I really started to get the hang of it with all the other camps. By the end of the summer I went to Big Dawg camp and was really comfortable with my play and was confident. I really stood out to the coaches and did really well. Throughout this season, I've really proven myself to the coaches and their evaluations."
Now that Rawlings has changed his color to Maroon, he's focusing on building a relationship with his future teammates as well as prospects considering MSU as their next destination. Getting some time with two players already committed to MSU was enough for him to see the future is in good hands.
"I haven't gotten to visit with the commits a lot. I was, this past weekend, with (Nick Fitzgerald) and Logan Cooke and those guys and I enjoyed spending time with them. They're two really nice guys. Those are guys that I can see myself playing with in the future. I just hope that future commits and other guys that are looking at Mississippi State will really see the same point of view that I do. These coaches are so personable and you can have good relationships with them."
Rawlings has a game in Starkville this Friday night against Starkville Academy which works out well for the newest commit who will be taking in the Bulldogs' big match up against LSU on Saturday. He expects to make a trip to Starkville for the remainder of the season.
Rawlings is the 16th Bulldog commit for the 2014 signing class and is the fourth offensive line pledge.
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