September 18, 2012

Slay kept his promise to State

Coming out of high school Darius Slay was recruited by the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and others but none of those programs were willing to offer due to grade concerns.

But Mississippi State decided to take a chance on the Brunswick, Ga., standout and signed him during Dan Mullen's first recruiting class in 2009 as a wide receiver.

Unfortunately Slay was unable to qualify academically and had to go the junior college route. Instead of giving up, the Bulldogs stuck with Slay and placed him at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College where he went on to have an All-American career as a cornerback and kick returner.

The second time through the recruiting process Slay saw all of those previous schools offer in addition to Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee but he remained true to his original commitment to the Bulldogs.

"I appreciated that they stuck with me," Slay said. "They didn't have to do that but they felt confident that I was going to be here and be prepared. I gave them my promise that I would come back and that's what I did."

Slay was a late arrival last August and spent the better part of his junior season learning the defense and adjusting to life in the Southeastern Conference. He played in all 13 games mostly on special teams and as a reserve cornerback notching 23 tackles, one tackle for loss, four pass deflections, a forced fumble and a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown.

After a stellar spring, Slay took over a starting role at cornerback for the Bulldogs and shifted fellow senior Corey Broomfield back to safety. So far in three games this season the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder leads the country with four interceptions.

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