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The Mississippi State Bulldogs placed a big bet on themselves this weekend, hosting Choctaw County (Mississippi) five-star wide receiver Caleb Cunningham for their big game against Texas A&M.

It paid off.

Mississippi State beat No. 17 Texas A&M 42-24 in front of a raucous crowd of 51,930.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound pass-catcher, rated the nation's No. 10 overall prospect and No. 2 wide receiver, felt every bit of that energy. 

Especially the cowbell. 

"It was a great atmosphere," Cunningham said. "I got to talk to a couple of the coaches and the recruiting staff. The game was outstanding, the receivers were tough and it felt good listening to them bells all day." 

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The in-state bluechip prospect said he grew up watching Mississippi State and has already been on four visits as a recruit.

So, it seems likely the Bulldogs will be in the mix for Cunningham throughout, although there will be plenty of competition.

Still, Mississippi State's early relationship-building should not be dismissed.

A big impression was made this weekend.

And Cunningham anticipates he's going to hear more cowbell before It's  all said and done.