July 29, 2009 2:16:00 PM
WEST POINT -- West Point High School offensive and defensive lineman Curtis Virges likes the direction coach Dan Mullen is taking the Mississippi State football program.
Even though the Bulldogs haven''t taken the field this season, Virges has been impressed with how Mullen prepares the team.
Virges wants to be a part of that, which is why he gave a verbal commitment to play for MSU after his senior season at West Point High.
Virges chose MSU because it gives him an opportunity to play college football 20 miles away from his hometown.
"It''s close to home (so) my mom and dad can come watch all my games," Virges said. "I think State is a good choice. I think things are going real well with Dan Mullen. It was my decision, but with my mom''s job, it helps so she can come watch me play."
Virges told his mother, Cassandra, after he junior year he was leaning toward MSU.
Cassandra didn''t want to put any added pressure on her son.
"I told him, ''Son. I''m not going to tell you where to go or what to do as long as you feel you get the degree that you want,'' " Cassandra said. "I wanted him to do what was the best thing for him and just follow his heart."
Cassandra didn''t know her son had given a commitment until she received a text message at work from family friend Malcolm Bell, who had taken an interest in Curtis'' football career.
She then shared the news with her co-workers and said everyone seemed excited about it.
"I guess they are all State fans," Cassandra said.
Curtis wanted to announce his commitment now so it wouldn''t be a distraction during his senior season. He also considered Southern Miss, Texas, Alabama, UAB, Florida, Georgia, and Ole Miss.
Virges said MSU coaches told him they would like him to play on the defensive line.
"In the letters I have received, they said they wanted me for my defense and they said they needed some linemen," Virges said.
Virges, who can bench press 370 pounds and squat 670 pounds, will be a valuable leader this season for West Point High coach Chris Chambless.
Chambless said Virges handles himself well on and off the field. Virges has a 3.5 grade-point average and has already qualified academically.
"He''s extremely smart and he''s got a mentality for the game," Chambless said. "He''s got mental toughness. He is big, strong, quick and those are always the intangibles you''ve got to have to be a good football player."
Going about his job well is important to Virges, and he appreciates the instruction he has received from Chambless and how his coach has stressed the importance of the weight room and has helped him do the right things.
Virges is the second member of the Green Wave to commit to MSU. Athlete Michael Carr also has made that choice.
Although he didn''t consult Carr about his decision, Virges said it''s good to know they''ll be going to MSU together.
"It will be nice to have a teammate on the team," Virges said. "It creates a little bit of history. It will be comfortable knowing he''s going to be there."
Chambless said there are challenges having two Division I prospects at West Point at the same time.
"It puts that added pressure on you, but we look forward to what we''ve got and do the best we can," Chambless said.
n Second wide receiver leaves MSU: MSU officials confirmed another wide receiver has left the program.
Coach Dan Mullen confirmed last week at Southeastern Conference Media Days that wide receiver Terrance Davis was planning to transfer.
On Tuesday, team spokesman Joe Galbraith said Vicksburg native Delmon Robinson was also leaving the program.
Galbraith said Robinson will be released from his letter of intent and "has left the program and is seeking a transfer."
Robinson played in 11 games as a freshman last season and caught 12 passes for 125 yards.
The Chattanooga Free Press reported Tuesday that Davis had signed with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Davis, a native of Conyers, Ga., said the reason he was leaving MSU was to be closer to home and that he picked UTC because good friend and Salem High School teammate Corey Shields planned to go there.
Shields, a transfer from Western Kentucky, will play outside linebacker at UTC. Both will have four years of eligibility remaining.
2. Chisolm driven to help disc golf grow in Columbus LOCAL SPORTS
3. Gordon hopes U.S. women can help MSU grow COLLEGE SPORTS