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July 26, 2011East Marion (Miss.) three-star running back Xavier Grindle began Mississippi State's Big Dawg Camp with a bang on Friday announcing his intentions to become a Bulldog.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder turned down offers to the two other top in-state programs to pledge his services to play in Starkville.
"It feels great," Grindle said. "My momma really liked the place and that's what really made me want to make the decision (Friday). I look up to all the coaches and I really, really wanted to be a Bulldog because they are moving the program to the next level."
Before the camp began Grindle sat down with MSU head coach Dan Mullen to discuss his commitment.
"I talked with Coach Mullen and we had a little discussion about what he's trying to do to move the program to the next level and he wanted to kids to come in and work really hard," Grindle said. "I'm down for that. Whatever gets me better, I'm ready."
Grindle did not compete during the final portion of the camp inside Davis Wade Stadium but did workout inside the Palmeiro Center at the start of camp.
"It was like I've been gone to long," Grindle said. "It was a great workout . I ran the forty and jumped."
This past season Grindle rushed 146 times for 1,262 yards and eight touchdowns. He also hauled in a dozen passes for 185 yard and another score. Defensively, Grindle made 28 tackles (16 solo, 12 assists) and two interceptions as well as adding 260 kickoff return yards and 187 punt return yards helping lead the Eagles to a 5-6 record and a birth in the Class 2A State Playoffs.
Last week the three-star was named to the Clarion Ledger's prestigious Dandy Dozen list which came to the surprise of Grindle himself.
"They really had me scared for a little minute," Grindle said. "It took real, real long but it's very, very humbling to be named a Dandy Dozen and that other people think I'm that good of a player as well. It's very humbling and I thank everyone who voted for me. I really appreciate it."
In January Grindle earned a honorable mention at running back while attending the U.S. Army All-American Underclassmen Combine in San Antionio, Texas. He is rated the No. 50 running back in the country and the 14th best player in Mississippi by Rivals.com.