O&8217;Quinn commits to Mississippi State Bulldogs

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; People rarely reach their dreams traveling in a straight line, and that was certainly the case for former Franklin County star Jasper O&8217;Quinn, who committed to Mississippi State Wednesday.

The shut-down cornerback originally signed with Delta State University coming out of high school in February 2005, but then transferred to Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where he picked off four passes during the Wolfpack&8217;s 9-3 2006 campaign.

The jump from originally signing with an NCAA Division II school to an SEC school is an impressive one, and O&8217;Quinn credits his time at Co-Lin with making the jump.

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&8220;I feel like the difference is when I was coming out of high school I was a kid,&8221; O&8217;Quinn said. &8220;I didn&8217;t know what to expect when I went to Delta State. In a sense, I&8217;m like a man now. I know what I&8217;m getting myself into and I know how to handle myself more. I&8217;m not going to be shocked or surprised at what I&8217;m seeing, because I&8217;ve experienced it more now.

&8220;I learned a lot (at Co-Lin). I credit all that to Coach (Glenn) Davis and the rest of the coaches at Co-Lin, especially Coach (Calvin) Green, my defensive backs coach. He helped me out a lot. He helped me develop my skills. I don&8217;t think I did that good at Delta State, so I give (Green) a lot of credit.&8221;

O&8217;Quinn said the ultimate reason he chose Mississippi State was for the challenge.

&8220;It&8217;s an SEC school,&8221; he said. &8220;That&8217;s one of the biggest things that attracted me. I wanted to be closer to home and play on a bigger stage. I had offers from Memphis, USM and Tulsa. I felt it was on a bigger stage than those colleges.&8221;

With several months to go before August, when he will report to campus at Starkville, O&8217;Quinn said his biggest goals were to keep his grades up and train.

&8220;My main goal is to focus on my grades,&8221; he said. &8220;I&8217;ve got to get those grades in order to get there. I&8217;ll have to work harder than ever to get there. I&8217;ll be ready when I get to the SEC. I&8217;ll have to work harder than I&8217;ve ever worked before to get a starting job.

&8220;I just need to get bigger and faster. I&8217;m focusing on my speed and strength. I have the technique already. I know Coach (Melvin) Smith, my defensive backs coach at Mississippi State, will help me further my technique and skills. I&8217;ll have to further my strength and speed on my own.&8221;