Allow the All-South Mississippi standouts to introduce themselves
One of the state's top offensive linemen is back on the market.
Gautier senior offensive tackle Paul Gainer announced Wednesday night that he has decided to drop his verbal commitment to Mississippi State and reopen his recruitment.
Gainer's announcement comes as a surprise considering he's been devoted to the Bulldogs since verbally committing in April.
Gainer said Thursday that he decided to back away from his commitment due to his lack of communication with certain members of the staff.
“I decommitted because of the lack of communication from the offensive line coaches,” Gainer said. “I talk to (cornerbacks coach Terrell Buckley) almost every week. I just don't feel comfortable with my position coach because I want to talk to him. I've got to get an understanding. I wasn't feeling the love from it.”
John Hevesy, who just finished his eighth season on Dan Mullen's staff at MSU, serves as the offensive line coach for the Bulldogs.
When asked if he'd be willing to commit again if he received improved communication from MSU, Gainer said “Probably.”
Gainer has an official visit planned for Mississippi State next weekend, but he said it's “up in the air” on whether he will actually make the trip.
The MSU staff has told the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Gainer that they would like to see him at center, a position he's not very familiar with.
“They want me to play center, but I've never played center,” Gainer said. “I'm open to it. I can snap. I've been working on it.”
Since dropping his commitment late Wednesday night, Gainer said that he's seen increased interest from several colleges.
“I've been hearing from schools everywhere,” Gainer said.
Southern Miss, South Alabama and LSU are among the schools that have shown increased interest in recent weeks. USM is the only one of those three schools that has offered Gainer a scholarship.
Gainer, who said he doesn't have a list of top schools or a favorite at the moment, has an official visit planned for Southern Miss on Jan. 20.
Gainer has also heard from some of the state's top community colleges, including Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and East Mississippi Community College.
Gainer joined Pascagoula defensive lineman James Jackson and Ocean Springs receiver Austin Williams in April as three MSU commitments out of Jackson County. Jackson and Williams are set to begin classes at MSU this semester.
Memphis, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Lafayette were among the schools that offered scholarships to Gainer prior to his commitment to MSU.
Gainer made the Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team in both his junior and senior seasons.