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March 31, 2011During the recruiting process Dillon Day did not disguise the fact that he wanted to play at Mississippi State.
The only problem with the situation was his scholarship offer would only come when some stipulations had been met. Not only would Day have to improve his ACT score and raise his classroom GPA but also had to find a way to add weight to his 6-foot-4, 237-pound frame.
Day was able to get all three obstacles accomplished in only a matter of months and had his coveted national letter of intent from the Bulldogs waiting for him on signing day in 2010.
"This is the greatest opportunity of my life by far," Day said nearly 14 months later. "There have been some good things but I would put this definitely in the top one. It's an opportunity I can't even describe. It was just where I was meant to be."
Day had reluctantly committed to Louisiana Tech just days before he inked as a backup option if his State offer did not come through.
"I wasn't trying to tell Tech I was coming and then not go," Day said. "I was waiting on that offer from Mississippi State. That's where I wanted to go."
Since his arrival Day has continued to grow and is now up to 293-pounds this spring. Day has been working as MSU's second string center behind Quentin Saulsberry as well as filling in some at guard as well.
The Monroe, La., native spent most of his prep career alternating between left and right tackle so the move to center has taken some getting used to.
"The first time I snapped a ball was in 2010," Day said. "I'm new to everything. Center is kind of like the smart man, you've got to I.D. the people and do all that kind of stuff. I've got to get down on my snapping. I'm still working on it."
Day has not only had a redshirt year to grow physically since his arrival in Starkville but also mentally as well as he continues to learn more under offensive line coach John Hevesy.
"No one wants to get redshirted but you look back on it and are like 'wow'," Day said. "You're more able to compete and feeling better mainly knowing the plays more. I feel a lot better than I did last year but it's a great improvement and a good deal."
As a senior Day helped lead West Monroe to a 15-0 undefeated season capturing the Class 5A State Championship by defeating Archbishop Rummel 30-0 in the Louisiana Superdome.
He was rated as a two-star prospect despite a dominating high school highlight film. But Day has found out that things are much more difficult in the Southeastern Conference.
"I might have played higher (high school) football than most people but this is a complete different level," Day said. "Everyone would tell me that the speed is different but to me the speed is different but as long as you know what you're doing you're going to be alright. Mainly it's a lot more complex."