The men of Mississippi State are one of the more well-rounded track and field teams in the country. The Bulldogs have historically developed top middle distance runners and formidable sprinting talents. Their jumps corps is typically respectable and they're often able to produce upper-echelon hurdlers.
In other words, Mississippi State can be competitive in nearly any event.
As a result, it feels like fate that the Bulldogs were able to sign one of the most-well rounded and dynamic athletes in the country.
I am, of course, referring to Peyton Bair.
The Idaho native out of Kimberly High School is one of the best decathletes in America. With a personal best of 6,913 points, which was set during his junior year, he will enter the spring of 2020 as the second-best returner in the country. The only other name ahead of him will be Oregon commit Jett Kinder, a Tennessee native and an Olympian's son who owns a decathlon (variant) PR of 7,077 points.
To give you some perspective on just how strong that score of 6,913 is, Bair is already on the cusp of eclipsing JaQuarius Wilson's mark of 7,177 points from the spring of 2017 -- the last time Mississippi State recorded a score in the decathlon.
"I've only been doing this for two years now" Bair told MileSplit. "I'm still pretty new to the event, so I know that I can get better."
Highlighted by a 100m PR of 10.76 seconds and a long jump personal best of 23 feet, 8.5 inches, Bair has exciting potential to be an immediate impact scorer as a freshman at the SEC Championships. If he follows his projected progression, he could even put himself in the national qualifying discussion.
"I'd like to make the National Championships during my freshman year," Bair said when asked about his collegiate goals. "I think I have the speed to make it, I just need to figure out the technical events."
But there's a catch. Bair won't be starting classes until the fall of 2022. Instead, he'll be taking a mission trip for the Church of the Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Even with the expected hiatus, Bair's potential impact will still be significant. Let's take every decathlon-related PR on Bair's resume and combine them.
If he were to run, jump and throw that well in a single meet, he would score a jaw-dropping 7,234 points, a total that would have ranked him inside the top 30 of the NCAA last spring.
Again, this is only through his junior year of high school.
But the crazy part in all of this is that Bair's best singular event isn't the 100m, long jump or anything else related to the decathlon. In fact, it's actually the hurdles.
One of the more underrated hurdlers in the country, the Mississippi State commit owns a personal best of 37.54 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles and 55.18 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles.
And if that wasn't enough, Bair's long jump PR of 7.23 meters (23-8.5) is actually better than any long jump measurement that the Bulldogs recorded last spring (their best mark was 7.10 meters).
In other words, Bair's value extends past his collective efforts across 10 events, which are eventually consolidated into one score. His potential to develop into a conference meet scorer in the hurdles, and possibly the long jump, makes him one of the more dynamic young talents that the SEC may not see the full potential of until the latter half of his collegiate career.