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May 2, 2011

Wells welcomes move to linebacker

Matthew Wells signed with Mississippi State in 2010 as one of the state's top athletes.

The six-foot, 210-pounder expected to compete in the Bulldogs' backfield but made the change to safety during his redshirt season. Now Wells is on the move again making the transition to linebacker during spring drills.

"Spring went good," Wells said. "I changed positions which everybody knows. I came out learning and tried to adjust to the position and get all the calls down."

Wells stood out in the spring game finishing second on the victorious Maroon squad in tackles with six stops (two solo, four assists) including one half tackle for loss.

The former Lawrence County High School running back who rushed for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior cannot help but miss getting the football but understands his role on defense is where he helps the Bulldogs the most in a linebacking corps that was depleted due to graduation.

"I would still like to have the ball in my hands," Wells said. "I've got to make the plays so it's okay where I'm at now. It's whatever helps the team."

Wells has already packed on 20-pounds during his first year in Starkville up from the 190-pounds he weighed in high school. That was only one of the benefits Wells had by redshirting in 2010.

"I came in expecting to play and got redshirted," Wells said. "It gave me a chance to get my body right and beef up a little bit, gain a little weight and see where my spot was on the field."

The former three-star prospect shine on both sides of the ball at Lawrence County also making 36 tackles and four interceptions on defense. Wells was named as a preseason Dandy Dozen selection by the Clarion Ledger and participated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

But Wells spent his first fall in college adjusting to life in the Southeastern Conference.

"It's going to be a gap going into the SEC," Wells said. "It's the top conference. Things are a little faster and there are more plays and checks. You've got to know more stuff but it's okay."

During the recruiting process Wells was one of the Magnolia State's most coveted prospects picking up scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Stanford and Tennessee.

After committing to the Bulldogs just days before his official visit, Wells remains content with his decision some 14-plus months later.

"I am happy," Wells said. "I visited other schools and looked at other schools but I knew this was the best choice for me."


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