While many of his classmates at Ripley High School were preparing for prom and graduation, Michael Story was going through grueling spring practices a few hours south at Mississippi State.
Story graduated early, signed with the Bulldogs and enrolled in the same week in January 2015 so that he could get a head start on his college career.
“They came to my school and asked if I wanted to enroll early and I jumped on it,” Story said. “I think it was the best decision I’ve made in my life. I don’t regret it at all.”
The former three-star offensive lineman arrived at only 17-years old and weighed 283-pounds along his 6-foot-4 frame.
“When I came in they thought I was a tight end,” Story said.
Story eventually redshirted his initial season on campus. During that time, he was able to get his weight up to 300-pounds while also adding strength and getting the playbook down.
“At first it was tough because I wasn’t used to sitting on the sidelines,” Story said. “But as I started to think about it and the season went on, now I think it was a very good idea because it got me into the system more and I got stronger, bigger and know the offense more.”
At the high school level, Story was simply able to use his sheer size to manhandle and maul smaller opponents. However, he quickly learned it would take more that just his mass to slow down defenders in the Southeastern Conference.
“In high school, you’re going up against little players so you can come off the ball with pure strength,” Story said. “Now you have to use technique along with your strength.”
When the time came for Story’s second set of spring practices, he felt better prepared and more at ease this time around. He spent most of his second spring working as the Bulldogs’ second team left guard.
“That first spring when I came in everything was moving fast – going left and right,” Story said. “Now everything has slowed down and I’ve picked up the technique. I’ve also picked up the offense better and have to keep going from there.”