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April 17, 2024

Starkville Bound

Bayou’s Alex Lopez signs to play football at MSU 

By andy collier

Sports Editor, The Bolivar Bullet

Bayou Academy senior lineman Alex Lopez signed to play football at Mississippi State University in Starkville on Dec. 11 during the early signing period.

Lopez signed with MSU as an offensive tackle. MSU plays in the Southeastern Conference which is considered every year to be the toughest conference in all of Division I Football. 

The 6-foot-8, 250 pound standout has developed into one of top football players in the state as he was the leader of Bayou’s offensive and defensive lines. Lopez recorded an impressive 16 pancake blocks on the offensive line and had 42 total tackles on defense with 11 pass hurries, seven tackles for loss, five pass deflections and four sacks. His production enabled Bayou to go 7-4 and advance to the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools 5A State Football Playoffs. Lopez was chosen to play in the MAIS 4A-6A All-Star football game, but an injury he suffered at the end of the year kept him out.  His work has been instrumental in Bayou making the 5A State Playoffs the past three seasons. 

MSU has some family ties for Lopez as his brother Gilbert is majoring in agricultural engineering technology and business with a concentration in precision agriculture. 

“My brother has been going there for four years,” said Lopez. “I guess a lot of the fans here are Mississippi State fans, but it’s been a school that’s been on my mind for a long time.”

Lopez has towered over most anybody he’s been stacked up against on the line. The key for Lopez has been his physical development as he was grossly undersized a couple of years ago. 

“About two years ago, I was 180 pounds and now I’m 250 pounds,” said Lopez. “I put a lot of work in during the off-season to do really well this past year.”

Lopez’s drive to build himself up and be a force really shifted into another gear last year. 

“Last year in my junior year was when I really sat my mind on gaining weight and really taking it seriously,” said Lopez. “I did well on the offensive and defensive lines last year but gaining weight definitely helped.”

Bayou Head Football Coach Flip Godfrey said Lopez’s confidence in himself grew through out his career.

“I think he really realized he was the best player on the field and started playing like that,” said Godfrey. “He got better every game since his sophomore year. He had some tough luck at the end of the year, but he got better and better.”

Along with his play on the football field, Lopez has excelled in the field events in track. Last year, Lopez won the discus (142-06) and the shot put (53-08) in the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools 5A State Boys Track and Field Meet. Lopez’s performance helped lead Bayou to the 5A State Boys Track and Field Championship which was the program’s first team state title in track since 1992.  

Godfrey said Lopez put in the time to get to where he is today.  

“Alex was a skinny, gangly bean poll in the ninth grade,” said Godfrey. “Through hard work and dedication, he got big and strong. Alex deserves every honor that he gets. He’s worked hard and worked overtime and done a great job for us for three years in football and track. Everything he gets, he certainly deserves.”

For the time being, Lopez indicated that track at MSU isn’t on his radar. 

“As of now, I’m just signing for football but you never now,” said Lopez.