As soon as Xavier Grindle signed with Pearl River Community College, just as soon did his status with the Wildcats change. After deciding to leave Mississippi State and sign with PRCC's football team on Friday, the former East Marion High School Standout, on Saturday, decided to remain in Starkville.
"(It's ) unfortunate for us that we didn't get him, fortunate for (Mississippi State) that they kept him and we'll push on and keep moving," said PRCC Head Coach Tim Hatten after his team's Saturday scrimmage.
Seems simple, but how did everything change so dramatically in only a span of 24 hours?
Hatten revealed that Grindle reached out to him and to PRCC sometime Friday afternoon, expressing an interest to play for the Wildcats. "(Friday), probably around 1:00 pm I get a phone call from Xavier," said Hatten, "He calls me and tells me he's in Columbia, that he's left State, and that he wants to play for us. He wanted to know if we had a scholarship available, I said, ‘Yeah. We've got one available.'"
Grindle then made the trip from his hometown of Columbia to Poplarville, and spoke with Hatten, accompanied by his Uncle and "another gentlemen." "We have a good conversation, we express interest in having him, we knew he was…unhappy at state for whatever reason," Hatten said.
What Grindle is or was unhappy about in Starkville is unclear at this point, but that Friday afternoon conversation ended with Grindle signing to play for PRCC. "We signed him yesterday on the spot," said Hatten.
Hatten was supposed to have Grindle present in the stands at his team's first fall scrimmage Saturday evening. Instead, what he got was a phone call from a Mississippi State assistant football coach just before the start of the scrimmage. "We get a phone call from one of the assistant coaches at Mississippi State stating that (Grindle) was back at Mississippi State and that (Head) coach (Dan) Mullen wishes we wouldn't contact him."
Hatten has one problem with that. "We didn't contact him to begin with," states Hatten, "There's nothing further from the truth.
"My assistant coach that dealt with the phone call assured the Mississippi State assistant coach…Here it is, August 10. I don't think we're going to go out, and recruit in Division I. It's not very good policy for us to recruit at Division I schools. "
As of Saturday night, Hatten had yet to speak with Mullen, but said he planned to call the Bulldogs head coach sometime on Sunday. "I assured him, I would give him a call and made sure he understands what happened," said Hatten.
According to the Wildcats head man, what happened involving the Mississippi State signee is clear. What might happen in regards to the relationship between PRCC and Mississippi State from now on is unclear. It very well might just be a speed bump on the road of the college football transfer. Either way, Hatten's not worried.
"We've been around since 1909," he said, "We're going to continue to be around with or without Florida State, Mississippi State , or whoever, but we want to make sure our relationship with them remains good."
After the musical chairs that transpired over the past 36 hours, Grindle, who rushed for 2,103 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior at East Marion, is again expected to suit up for the Bulldogs this season. Hatten also stated he's happy for Grindle, and wishes him well.
But if Grindle decides to change his mind again, Hatten will be there with a pen and paper waiting.
"He called us, expressed an interest to play, and I got news for you," Hatten said with a chuckle, "If he called tomorrow, expressed an interest to play, and showed up at my office tomorrow, I'd take him tomorrow too."
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