Willie Gay played high school football in Starkville, Miss., only a couple of miles away from Mississippi State’s Davis Wade Stadium, and the Bulldogs convinced him to stay home for college. The four-star linebacker revealed Wednesday that he will play for Mississippi State, choosing the Bulldogs over LSU and Michigan.
This is the second time Gay has announced his intention to join a program. He issued a verbal commitment to Ole Miss last June, only to back off that pledge in October. He subsequently said that the Wolverines were the leader in his recruitment, and the Tigers were considered a strong contender entering National Signing Day, but the Bulldogs overtook both of them.
Gay becomes the highest-rated prospect in Mississippi State's class and its second linebacker, joining St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) High four-star Tyler Dunning. His decision gives the Bulldogs two of the top four prospects in the state of Mississippi, along with Columbus High four-star running back Kylin Hill. Mississippi State can't match SEC West rivals Alabama and LSU in their depth and quality of talent, but prospects with star potential like Gay, a rangy playmaker who can run down ball-carriers in space and assist in pass coverage, can help the Bulldogs compete in the toughest division in the Power 5 conferences.
Here is Scout.com’s full scouting report on Gay:
A linebacker who is very athletic. Shows he can play inside the box or drop into coverage. A little light, but good length, and he can run. Will come up and pop the running back. Can blitz from the outside linebacker position. His speed is one of his biggest strengths. He really closes well. Can tackle a little high. Needs to drive through the offensive player better. Plays well in space. Plays with his head up and is strong in coverage.