For the past two years, Cordarrly Gaines has lined up at offensive tackle and also seen spot duty at defensive tackle for Provine (Miss.) High School. This spring, the 6-foot-5 and 330-pound junior is also trying his hand at another line position.
"It's going good and we're starting to get after it pretty good this spring," said Gaines. "I am mainly working on my footwork and I am also playing some at guard and trying that out. It takes some work and I am not used to having two people beside me and there is more inside blocking involved. But it's going alright and I am getting adjusted. The coaches just want to see what I can do at guard so I can be versatile in case I am needed to play that spot."
Over the past decade or so, Provine High School has put their share of top athletes at the next level and beyond, including the likes of former NFL performer Fred Smoot and current MSU safety Nickoe Whitley. Gaines is hoping to follow that trend of succeeding in college and said there is a reason why Provine players often have success in college.
"Coach (Willie) Collins is all about hard work," said Gaines. "You have to earn your keep and no starting spot comes free. That is why this school has guys going to the next level. It is like going to your job and looking to get a promotion. Other guys are also wanting that promotion so you have to work even harder to get it and you know your starting job could be taken at any minute."
With his recruitment, Gaines holds offers from MSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, Memphis and Arkansas State among others. His latest two offers came from a neighboring state and said schools are stopping by this spring.
"My latest offers were from Memphis and Tennessee," said Gaines. "I never really expected all these early offers because my coach stays on me about doing things wrong on the field.
"Ole Miss and Tulane have been by so far and Arkansas and Mississippi State are also coming by. So it's been a good spring seeing those schools."
Of the schools that have offered, Gaines has long maintained a front runner and that has not changed of late.
"Mississippi State is really the only one at the top and the rest are all on the outside looking in," said Gaines. "I just like how Mississippi State's program is so organized and structured. I love their strength and conditioning coach (Matt Balis) and their offensive line coach (John Hevesy) is very strict and he gets you where you need to go."