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August 2, 2011Mississippi State and Dan Mullen got their biggest commitment of the 2012 class so far, both literally and figuratively, in 6-foot-4, 345-pound defensive tackle Nick James out of Long Beach (Miss.) High School.
James said it was all about "Just staying in the state and bringing Mississippi back on the rise."
In addition to his desire to bring Mississippi a championship, James said he also likes the look of the Bulldogs, particularly under new defensive coordinator Chris Wilson.
"They play hard football and it sounds like they're turning back into a defensive team," James said.
He had been mulling his decision for a while, and as recently as last week said he wasn't sure. But just a few days after being around Mississippi's top players at the Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen photo shoot, James gave Mullen a call.
"He was excited," James said. "He asked me if I wanted to be a Bulldog and I said, 'Yes, sir.'"
James has been a part of a foursome of top in-state players who have discussed the possibility of going to the same school with the idea of bringing the state of Mississippi a national championship.
The others are teammate and linebacker Richie Brown, Morton defensive tackle Quay Evans and Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward.
Though Brown and James said last week that the two don't have concrete plans to go to the same school, James he's getting on the phone soon to convince Brown, as well as the others, to join him in Starkville.
"Hopefully that happens," James said. "I'm gonna talk to Richie about it."
James said he is excited about his commitment, but that MSU's coaches have told him he has to work hard in the classroom now, not just the field, to make sure he can qualify academically to attend MSU.
"I just gotta get my grades my up. I gotta focus and I'm gonna be ready," James said. "I'm worried about it, but then again I'm not, you know."
While James is now committed to MSU, he did say he won't completely shut down recruiting.
"I'll take a couple more visits just to make sure I made the right decision."