It could have been very easy for Marvin Bure to simply take one of the scholarship offers he received from a couple of smaller schools but he had bigger dreams so he decided to walk on at Mississippi State in the fall of 2007.
"I had a couple of scholarship offers from some small schools but I felt like I was better than that," said the fourth-year junior. "And I just wanted to come in and show all the coaches what I could do, and finally Coach Mullen gave me a chance."
After playing in four games during the 2009 season, Bure earned significant playing time in 2010, playing in 11 games while recording 6 tackles and 1 forced fumble. And Bure couldn't be happier.
"This has been a fun year because it's really been the first time I have gotten to play and make a contribution to the team," said the 5-8, 190-pounder. "Everybody depends on me when it comes down to special teams."
But his season is not quite over. He and his teammates have one more game to play, a game Bure is really looking forward to playing.
"(Playing in a bowl game) is a great experience for me and the team because we are playing Michigan, a good team," said the youngster, who is spending Christmas in Vicksburg, Mississippi with his family.
While he has enjoyed his time playing football, another event in his life has fulfilled his life even more.
"I am engaged to Ashley Hughes," said Bure. "We got engaged around Valentine's Day. She thought I was going to ask her before that but I wanted to do it on a special day. She wasn't expecting it. She was at home cleaning up. So, I just went by her house and asked her. I told her stop cleaning up, then I got down on one knee and asked her. She knew right then what I was doing and got teary eyed and kind of star-struck."
And her acceptance of his proposal fulfilled his life.
"It really made my life because she is always by my side," said Bure, who met Ashley, also a junior at Mississippi State, on the Mississippi State campus about a year and a half ago.
Their tentative plans are to marry sometime during 2011.
"We plan on getting married sometime next year," said Bure. "We really haven't talked about (the date) a lot."
As for football, he has one more year of eligibility left and plans on using it.
"I'm plan on coming back and playing my senior season," said Bure. "(Ashley) has another year, too."
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will be happy to hear that Bure plans on coming back after watching him play this season.
"Marvin is one of the best stories of the year and in a way he is our secret weapon," said Diaz. "He is one of the fastest kids on the team. When I got here Bure was always one of the top guys (speed-wise). But what he has really done is become a better football player. He probably has been involved in four or five turnovers and big plays in the kicking game. And he's a really diligent kid who tries to do everything he is coached to do.
"The bottom line is he has played himself into having a pretty good role on our football team. I would say if we had a special teams player of the year, he would be in the running to win the award."
And Marvin Bure will get another shot to be involved in more big plays against the University of Michigan on January 1, 2011.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.