November 12, 2012

Monday with Mullen

Mississippi State will take the field for their final home game of the season on Saturday.

It will also be the final appearance for 25 Bulldog seniors at Davis Wade Stadium, most of whom were a part of Dan Mullen's initial recruiting class in 2009.

This group of seniors will leave as one of the most elite in school history becoming just the second group to reach three-straight bowl berths and just the third to play in three bowl games. The 2012 seniors have compiled a 28-20 record over the last four years marking just the fourth collection of senior to win 28 games since World War II.

"They will always be pretty special to me," Mullen said. "It was my first opportunity to be a head coach and these are the guys that said from day one 'I'm going to believe in what you're doing'. That is always very, very important to you. They will always keep that special place in my heart throughout my career. They are going to leave as one of the most successful classes in school history. Not only did they believe but they followed through with it as well."

10 of the seniors were brought in by Mullen while the others were signed by former head coach Sylvester Croom. Croom had also secured the commitments of Chris Smith, Cameron Lawrence, Johnthan Banks and Josh Boyd for that 2009 class that Mullen signed as well.

Mullen however added to that class with the addition of seniors Chad Bumphis and Brandon Heavens.

Bumphis might have been the key cog in keeping that class together due to his ties to Mullen, who had recruited him while serving as the offensive coordinator at Florida.

"It certainly helped me because he was the only guy in that recruiting class that I knew before I got here," Mullen said. "I had a relationship with him before I got here. It was huge because he ended up helping me bridge to all of the other guys -all of those guys who decided to stick together and play for their state school and represent the people of Mississippi."

Bumphis was rated as a four-star recruit and was the 109th rated prospect in the country out of Tupelo, Miss. He turned down scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas Tech to come play for the Bulldogs.

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