Wisner not surprised by perfect season

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 8, 1999

Jason Wisner knew it would just be a matter of time before Mississippi State (8-0) would break out and have an outstanding season.

That’s because Wisner was a member of the 1994 State team that went 8-4, losing to North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl.

&uot;I just figured it was a matter of time with Coach (Jackie) Sherrill,&uot; Wisner said. &uot;They’ve had some good seasons the past few years. I didn’t realize they had the personnel on defense that they do this year. Right now they are just lacking a quarterback. That’s the only thing keeping them from being a great team.&uot;

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Wisner was a standout offensive tackle at Mississippi State form 1991-94.

He began playing football on the junior varsity team at South Natchez in 1987.

Wisner was a member of the last South Natchez team and the first Natchez High squad, which finished 7-2, losing to Moss Point in the first round of the playoffs in 1989.

&uot;It was a pretty tough year because we had to overcome a lot of personality conflicts,&uot; Wisner said of the merger of South and North Natchez. &uot;The pressure put on that team was extraordinary, not only from the people in Natchez, but throughout the state.&uot;

The fact was that South Natchez was coming off a losing season and North Natchez lost several senior starters.

&uot;I don’t think either team would have had a great year,&uot; Wisner said.

Wisner said he has always thought about attending Ole Miss, but it was a visit to Starkville that persuaded him to sign with Mississippi State.

&uot;I just felt at home at State,&uot; he said.

Wisner said he hated his first year because all he did was practice and not play.

&uot;And it was tough being the butt of every drill,&uot; he said. &uot;But it all worked out for the best.&uot;

Wisner earned a starting spot as a junior.

&uot;It was great,&uot; Wisner said of playing in the Southeastern Conference. &uot;It shaped me and prepared me for the rest of my life. I made a lot of lifelong friends I still keep in touch with and learned a lot playing in the conference that I feel is the best.&uot;

Wisner said he went up against several good players.

Tony McCoy and Brad Culpepper at Florida were good and Henry Ford of Arkansas was very good,&uot; he said.

Wisner did not only excel on the football field, he was also a record-setting power lifter.

&uot;I had to put it on the backburner and make it a second priority in college,&uot; Wisner said.

After college, Wisner set a state record in the squat at 900 pounds.He placed third in a national meet in 1997. He has not powerlifted in a while because of a back injury, but is pondering getting back into it soon.

Wisner began powerlifting in the seventh grade.

&uot;It gave me a head start in football on guys who didn’t start lifting weights until the 10th grade,&uot; Wisner said.

In 1989, as a junior at South Natchez, Wisner was part of a USA&160;Powerlifting All-Star team that took on another team in Russia.

Wisner finished second in the first USA vs. USSR meet and first in the other meet.

He spent 10 days in Russia.

&uot;It made me appreciate where I live,&uot; he said. &uot;We take a lot of things for granted over here.&uot;

Wisner has been working with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department the last five months.

&uot;It’s great,&uot; he said. &uot;I work with a lot of great people. We’re fortunate to have the good sheriff’s department that we do.&uot;