Student. Athlete. Soldier.
Mississippi State University linebacker, Tim Bailey, not only listened to football recruiters in high school, but Military recruiters as well. After graduation, Mr. Bailey went to basic training with the Army National Guard, and then onto Mississippi Delta Community College where he led the football team in tackles as a freshman.
Tim's time as a student/athlete was short lived- in 2003, before his sophomore season, his Guard Unit (Troop A 98th Cavalry) was called up to go to Iraq. "Basically, I was in harm's way," Bailey described his year in the middle east. "It was more IEDs (improvised explosive devices). There weren't too many crazy people that would shoot you. They liked to blow up people. That made me even more scared."
Thankfully, Tim made it home safely in December 2005. Upon his return, Mr. Bailey found out Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Alabama were offering him a football scholarship. Out of loyalty, Mr. Bailey chose Mississippi State because head coach Sylvester Croom was the only one that offered him a scholarship before his deployment. "It's an amazing story, and he's an amazing kid who's not a kid anymore. He's done his time in Iraq, and now is his time to move forward," said his high school coach, Jeff Horn.
Operation Yellow Elephant would like to wish Tim Bailey and the Mississippi State football team the best of luck this fall. We would also like to recognize their head coach, Sylvester Croom, for being a man of integrity by keeping Tim's scholarship available for when he made it back to The States. Lastly, we did not seek to find out Mr. Bailey's thoughts on The War he participated in, as he has earned respect for whatever his convictions may be.
Hat tip to CBS Sports.