February 4, 2010 8:55:00 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brandon Hill is ready to take the next step.
If Hill would have had a pair of pads and clearance Wednesday, he would have hit the Mississippi State football practice fields to begin his career as a Bulldogs.
Hill will have to wait a few more months, but that doesn''t mean he was any less excited Wednesday when he signed his National Letter of Intent to play football for MSU.
"It means just about everything," said Hill, who is listed as an athlete on the Bulldogs'' list of signees. "It is where I am going to start my life. Today means life."
Hill was one of several local standouts to take part in WCBI''s Signing Day broadcast Wednesday morning. He was joined by Louisville High''s Markese Triplett, who will attend Southern Miss, Noxubee County''s Vincent Sanders (Ole Miss), and Aberdeen''s Jamerson Love (MSU).
Hill, a a senior linebacker at West Lowndes High, tried to get his letter of intent faxed to MSU so it would be the first one received. He didn''t think he earned that honor, but he is anxious to do whatever it takes to contribute.
As an athlete, he knows he will have a chance to make his mark.
"The letters ''ath'' mean to me that I can pretty much do anything they want me to and what I want to," Hill said. "I can be a wide receiver, a strong safety, or, if I bulk up a little bit more, I can be an inside or an outside linebacker."
Hill said he played a host of positions this season for the Panthers, and is just itching to make the most of his opportunity.
"I believe in myself," Hill said. "I thrive on a saying from The Bible: ''I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'' "
Triplett, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver, has excelled the past two seasons in football after breaking his collarbone in ninth grade. The injury helped turn him away from baseball.
"I didn''t really expect all of this from seventh or eighth grade," Triplett said. "My life was all around baseball, and I didn''t expect football. It just showed up in my life and I stuck with it."
Triplett said he earned a lot of playing time on the Louisville High varsity team in 10th grade and is eager to make an impact on the Division I level.
"It says anything can happen if you put your mind to it," Triplett said.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.