NHS alum McCall working hard at JSU

Published 8:56 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The life of a college football player is a busy one; just ask former Northview High School standout Blake McCall.

Now a freshman offensive lineman at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., McCall wakes up for practice at 6 a.m., then goes to class throughout the day and attends team meetings each evening.

Besides the schedule, the biggest change for McCall is the size and age difference of the athletes on the team.

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“I’m not playing with people my own age anymore,” he said. “I’m playing with grown men.”

The 280-pound McCall was quick to say he holds his own, but admitted that he’s the smallest lineman on the team by about 15 pounds.

McCall said the college atmosphere is also a noticeable difference.

“There’s nothing like it,” he said. “Everyone here looks up to the football team, and when you’re out on field in front of 65,000 fans, it gets pretty intense.”

The former Northview standout plays center, but has practiced as a guard, tackle, full back and tight end. He has seen live game action on special teams.

“We’re a really good team, especially on defense,” he said. “The defense is lights out.”

JSU has started the season 2-2 with wins against Alabama State and Texas Southern, and losses to Tulane and Tennessee State.

McCall, a member of Northview’s state Class 1A title team of a year ago, said he hopes that the Tigers can make it to the SWAC championship in Houston.

“I’d be picking up where I left off,” he said.

McCall said he might get a chance to come home for a few days, before Saturday’s game.

JSU travels to Baton Rouge, La., to take on Southern on Saturday, Sept. 28, before coming back to Jackson to host Arkansas-Pine Bluff. They then take on Mississippi Valley State, Grambling State for homecoming, Prairie View A&M, Alabama A&M and Alcorn State to finish out the regular season.