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October 19, 2012
For the fifth time in school history, nationally renowned South Panola (Miss.) High School has had one of its star athletes selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Four-star offensive guard Deon Mix will represent the Tigers as well as the Magnolia State live on NBC on Jan. 5, from San Antonio, Texas.
"It's a blessing," Mix said. "This is something that every high school kid dreams of, and I'm just fortunate to be one of them. It's something that I've always wanted to do and I just kept working hard and telling myself one day, 'I'm going to be an All-American,' and it happened."
The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder is rated the No. 10 offensive guard in the country and is the 190th overall prospect in the Rivals250. Mix is also the third best prospect in Mississippi according to Rivals.com, and he is looking forward to representing his home state.
"I just respect this state and I'm going to go out there and do my best and shine for my state," Mix said.
Along with Mix's invite, his head coach Lance Pogue will also make the trip to the Lone Star State for the U.S. Army Coaches Academy. Pogue was selected as the East head coach in 2010 and won the bowl game 13-10 following his national championship at South Panola that season.
"It's a credit to our program first and foremost," Pogue said. "Our guys work hard and football means so much to them. We've got guys with great character, and Deon is a great student and those things go hand in hand. It's very well deserved and I'm proud of him and his family. I'm also proud of our seniors because we've been through so much. It's a team honor really but he's well deserving."
So far this season the Tigers are 6-2 with both losses coming to national programs Hoover (Ala.) and Bentonville (Ark.).
In addition to being named as a U.S. Army All-American, Mix was also a preseason Dandy Dozen selection by the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger and was selected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in December.
Mix is verbally committed to play at Mississippi State after giving Dan Mullen his pledge in mid-June. He chose the Bulldogs over offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oregon, Purdue, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Texas and Texas A&M.
Mix stated that he is firm in his commitment to MSU and is impressed with the Bulldogs' 6-0 start to the season.
"They are finally playing with a grit to win and they finally realized that Mississippi State can compete with anybody in the country," Mix said. "We've got the best group of coaches, the best group of players and the best group of fans. Mississippi State can compete."
Pogue believes the Bulldogs are getting a good one in Mix and spoke about his strengths on the field.
"First and foremost he's 6-foot-4, 305 and a good athlete," Pogue said. "The thing about him is he could play guard or tackle depending on what the system is. You always look for guys that are versatile with good feet. The sky is the limit for him. I've said numerous times that his best football is in front of him once he keeps maturing and developing. It's going to be fun to watch him over the next four or five years because he's got what it takes to be a dominant offensive lineman in the SEC."