Former NHS standout Jason Bruce enjoying 2009 season

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TROY, Ala. — For Troy University wide receiver Jason Bruce, a January enrollment at Troy ended up being a huge advantage for him in the football world.

The former Natchez High School quarterback graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Community College last December, allowing him to enroll for the spring semester at Troy. Bruce said he was glad everything worked out that way.

“It gave me a big advantage,” Bruce said. “I got in, got around the players that were going to be there in the fall, and got a chance to learn the system.”

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To date, Bruce has accumulated 139 yards on 11 catches for the Trojans. He also has 11 rushing yards on two carries.

More importantly for Bruce, the Trojans are on a roll, riding a seven-game win streak after losing the opening two games of the season against Bowling Green State and Florida. Bruce said adjustments made after the first two games contributed significantly to the turnaround.

“I think we maybe practiced harder and focused more on the goals we set in the offseason,” Bruce said. “The seniors and everyone on the team wanted to meet those goals, which meant we had to practice harder and do things the right way.”

Bruce also said the offseason goals the team set gave all the Trojan players high expectations for how the season would turn out. The team wants to make sure it makes it to the New Orleans Bowl, where the champions of the Sun Belt Conference face off against a Conference USA opponent.

“We also want to be undefeated at home, win a majority of our games and beat a name team,” Bruce said. “We’re headed in the right direction. We’ve come together as a family, because everyone wants the same thing. We’re winning games and enjoying each other.”

That kind of team chemistry is something that Bruce said he thinks is vital to any team’s success on the field.

“If you don’t have chemistry with your teammates, or you don’t really know each other, there’s no way you can win games.”

After graduating from Natchez High School, Bruce enrolled in Copiah-Lincoln, where he said he was given good preparation for Division 1 football.

“I don’t think (coming to Troy) was a big adjustment, because I feel like I’m a good enough athlete to compete with pretty much anybody.

“I give all the thanks in the world to Coach Glen Davis and his coaching staff for sitting down with me and talking to me after high school and telling me that junior college would prepare me for the D-1 level.”

Bruce said he chose Troy as the place he wanted to transfer to because he felt it would be a good fit as far as showcasing his athletic talent, due to the Trojans running a spread offense. So far, he said he hasn’t been disappointed.

“I’ve gotten plenty of opportunities, and I’m still growing and learning a lot,” Bruce said. “In the future, I’ll be a big part of this offense.”

However, that’s not the most important thing for Bruce.

“No. 1, I want to make sure I don’t leave Troy without a degree in social sciences,” Bruce said.