September 18, 2008

Jasper's Journey to Mississippi State

Jasper O'Quinn has had a successful start to his career at Mississippi State.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has started 10 of a possible 15 games at cornerback for the Bulldogs and provided excellent senior leadership in the secondary thus far this season.

"It's been real rewarding," O'Quinn said. "This has been like a dream come true. I've always been a Mississippi State fan. I've told everyone that it has been a long road for me but I've worked for everything I've ever had. I just thank God for everything that he has allowed me to do. I also thank coach (Sylvester) Croom for allowing me the opportunity to come out here and play."

O'Quinn has made 42 tackles during his short stint in Starkville with 1.5 tackles for loss, three pass deflections and an interception. O'Quinn has started all three games this season and tallied five stops and a pass deflection.

But O'Quinn's college career did not begin with the maroon and white. Instead, O'Quinn made two other stops before arriving at MSU. He began his collegiate career at Delta State but was only able to stay one season in Cleveland after finding out his father, Richey, was diagnosed with cancer.

O'Quinn made the tough decision to leave his newfound team and success to return home to care for his ailing father in Bude. O'Quinn enrolled in nearby Copiah-Lincoln Community College for his sophomore campaign.

"It's a long road," O'Quinn said. "I started out at Delta State. I love Delta State to this day and there are no hard feelings. But a situation came about where my dad had cancer so I left Delta State to be closer to home. I ended up at Copiah-Lincoln Junior College which is like 20 minutes from my house. It was a blessing in disguise. I went home to help take care of my family and I just had a great junior college season and that led me here."

O'Quinn played in nine games at Delta State his freshman season making 37 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, five pass deflections, one sack, and one interception. O'Quinn's sophomore stats at Copiah-Lincoln landed him scholarship offers from the likes of LSU, West Virginia, Louisville, Iowa State and Tulsa. He made 34 tackles and four interceptions his one season in the junior college ranks.

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