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MSU gets two commitments from Wilkinson County High School

WOODVILLE — After Devin Fosselman committed, James Maiden was not far behind.

The Wilkinson County duo recently gave verbal pledges to attend Mississippi State for college, and play football for the Bulldogs. The decisions came after both attended Mississippi State’s summer football camp in late July.

“I kept in touch with the coaches, and they said that before they offered me, they wanted to see how I worked out at their camp,” Fosselman said.

“The day after their camp was over, they offered, and I committed.”

An easy decision, Fosselman said, as the offense Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen runs is well suited for a wide receiver like himself.

“Coach Mullen runs a spread offense, and he said he’ll need eight to 12 receivers to run it. I can come in, produce and help immediately,” Fosselman said.

For Maiden, a two-way lineman at Wilkinson County, deciding to play for Mississippi State had to do with his comfort level, he said.

“I feel comfortable around the coaches. Coach Chris Wilson, who’s their defensive line coach, is a really cool dude,” Maiden said.

“He’s really straight up. He tells you the truth.”

In making his decision, Maiden said both his family and Fosselman played big parts in choosing Mississippi State.

“Me and Devin have always wanted to go to college together. We’ve been playing football together since middle school,” he said.

“My family also played a big role. They were happy with my choice. They just wanted me to choose wherever I felt comfortable.”

Fosselman said he made sure to suggest joining him at Mississippi State as soon as he committed.

“I was on him every day. I told him he might as well come join me and the Bulldog family, but the coaches were on him too,” Fosselman said.

And like Maiden, Fosselman said his family was completely supportive of his decision.

“They didn’t put pressure on me. My brother helped me out, but my family told me that my decision was based on me,” Fosselman said.

“They said it was my decision, because it was the next four years of my future.”

Wilkinson County head coach Elbert Lyles said both players have stepped up as leaders for the Wildcats.

“Fosselman has shown good work ethic, and has had a great offseason. Besides being a heck of a football player, he’s a motivator, and those around him feed off of him,” Lyles said.

“Maiden has stepped up over the years. This offseason, he’s taken responsibility, gotten a lot stronger and more aggressive. He’s a big kid, but you also need that aggressiveness and determination to finish the fight.”

Although he’s given a verbal pledge, Maiden said he hasn’t completely closed the door to other schools.

“It’s just a verbal thing. I’m trying to leave it open right now. I’m weighing some options,” Maiden said.

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