June 19, 2009

All-Star walking on at Mississippi State

It's not too often that a Mississippi All-Star goes without a Division I offer.

But as national signing day came and past, Aberdeen's Tevin Blanchard was still without a home. Instead of getting down or settling for a scholarship to smaller schools or junior college, Blanchard decided to pursue his dream of playing in the Southeastern Conference at Mississippi State by walking on.

"I had JUCO at ICC (Itawamba Community College) left and a couple of Division-II schools like Delta State and Mississippi Valley State," Blanchard said. "But I felt like I was better than D-II. I didn't want to be stuck at D-II for four years and I really didn't want to go the JUCO route."

Several schools were showing interest in the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder during his recruitment including Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech. But Blanchard made the decision to stay close to home and be a Bulldog, which is where he wanted to be all along.

"I decided to come to Mississippi State because it's close to home," Blanchard said. "I've always wanted really to go down there. I didn't get the scholarship but at the same time it feels good too. They recruited me pretty good and at first wanted me at defensive back but now it's wide receiver. One of my coaches told me that they think pretty high of me."

Blanchard and his high school teammate Jamerson Love were not strangers around the Starkville campus this spring attending several practices and scrimmages. During those visits, Blanchard got an opportunity to see new head coach Dan Mullen in action which let him know MSU was the place for him.

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