ECHS senior shines

Published 6:41 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Jarrod Jefferson took a trip to Birmingham this year. All Alabama high school athletes were invited to attend the inaugural Spain Park High School football combine in April.
Jefferson was noticed out of the close to 400 athletes in attendance at the combine.
It could be his 6-foot-3-inch, 245-pound frame that got him noticed, or it could have been the 4.91 40-yard dash and 4.53 shuttle run he turned in. Either way, the Escambia County High School senior defensive end turned some heads at the combine.
He was featured, along with 10 other athletes in an article about the combine on
Jefferson stays humble, even though scouts are noticing him across the Southeast.
"There were a lot of people up there," he said about the combine. "That was my first time at something like that and it felt good to get noticed. I definitely got excited when I saw there were colleges interested in me. It is a great feeling."
But Jefferson has had an eye on him since his sophomore year, when Mississippi State University assistant head coach Woody McCorvey saw him.
"I have had many talks about Jarrod with coach McCorvey," ECHS head coach Kyle Davis said. "And coach McCorvey likes what he sees."
Jefferson has also been looked at by Alabama and Southern Mississippi, Davis said.
Davis said Jefferson is a coach's dream.
"Jarrod has got it all," Davis said. "He has the speed, size and strength, but sometimes he just has to find the right gear. But when he finds that gear, he is great. He is definitely a Division-I recruit. And he improved from his sophomore year to his junior year. He is much more aggressive and physical now. We hope he can step it up even more this year and be even better. He is a great kid and very coachable. He is one of those kids that if you are having a bad day, just hanging around him will make you feel better. He is a joy to coach."
And even with all the praise from the scouts and his coaches, Jefferson stays humbled.
"I just go out there every game and try my best," he said. "Hopefully one day I can go play college ball."
Davis said he has always been that way.
"If those stats from the combine would not have been online then no one would have known about them," Davis said. "Because Jarrod would not go around telling everybody. He just comes in every day and works hard. Doing well at the combine probably motivated Jarrod to work even harder and get even better. He has come into his own this summer and he is one of the strongest guys in our weight room."
Jefferson was the fastest athlete of the defensive and offensive linemen at the combine with his 4.91 40. Davis said it is hard not to be seen with that kind of speed and size. Jefferson also put up 20 reps on the 185-pound bench press.
Jefferson has been hitting the man with the pigskin since he was 7 years old.
"I went with my mom to take my cousin to Pee Wee football one day and as I watched I decided I wanted to play that game," Jefferson said. "So the next year she signed me up and I have been playing since then."
Jefferson sacked the quarterback eight times and gathered 67 tackles in his junior season last year, but he wants to improve on that in his senior year.
"I plan on getting better and I want to get close to 100 tackles and 10-11 sacks this year," he said. "I am looking forward to a good year because we should be good this year as a team. But I still can't believe I am about to graduate."

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