Once a member of the Tigers’ 2013 recruiting class, Cutrer had to instead take the junior college route because of his academics. He ended up at Mississippi Gulf Coast, where in two seasons he’s had an impact on both sides of the ball. His strong play at defensive back this season impressed the LSU coaches enough to offer him a chance to rejoin the Tigers, an opportunity Cutrer quickly accepted.
TSD caught up with MGCCC head coach Chad Huff and defensive coordinator Steve Davis — who was an assistant at LSU from 1991-93 — for some insight on how Cutrer has matured and improved both on the field and off it.
HEAD COACH CHAD HUFF
Q: Being the head coach, what’s been your impression of Jeremy since he came into your program?
“Jeremy’s been really good for us. He’s a kid that’s followed the process, stuck to the plan. He’s really grown and matured over the last year and a half. We’re very pleased with his efforts this year. He’s been stable in that secondary for us and is playing very well right now. He’s gifted, a very talented kid, and at the same time a good kid. He comes from a situation where he grew up, and he’s come to us. It’s been good for him to be away from home and focus on his schoolwork and his play on the field.”
Q: How much has he embraced getting back on defense, which is I’m sure his preferred spot?
“That’s his specialty. He’s a DB. Last year we lost another receiver to an ACL, so we needed some help opposite D’haquille Williams. Jeremy being unselfish, an athletic kid coming out of high school, we felt like he could flip over and play some receiver. He battled through some injuries and learning the offense. But he was very unselfish, and after last season we moved him back to DB, and that’s where he’s always belonged. He just wanted to help the football team, and that shows the kind of kid he is.
“He’s just a natural on defense. He’s a very instinctive kid, very physical kid. He can run. He has long arms. He’s not afraid to mix it up. He’s been a leader back there. He picks the guys up.”
Q: How much has Jeremy changed since he arrived at MGCCC?
“He’s a different kid. He came here like any freshman, away from home for the first time and didn’t know anybody. But once he got comfortable, he didn’t mess around. He’s come out of his shell. He’s a tremendous kid, and he’s just come a long way. And I think he would say the same thing with the leaps he’s made. From where he was when he got here to where he is now, it’s been really good to see.”
Q: What are some things Jeremy can improve on in order to make the jump to the next level?
“He just needs to continue to build strength in the weight room. He can put on some more weight and keep fine-tuning his game with his fundamentals. He can improve each and every day there. He’ll definitely be a kid that can come in and help right away.”
Q: How ready will he be for LSU and the SEC?
“Once he gets there in the spring and learns the defense with LSU, he’ll pick it up. He’s a smart kid. His football awareness is very high. He’s a kid that can pick things up really quick. He’s a very coachable kid. You can correct him, and he’ll do exactly what you tell him to do. He’s not satisfied with himself. He’s a humble kid and he knows he has to improve every day. That’s what makes him different. Other kids might have his talent, but the fact that he has great talent and is coachable, he’s got a great chance to be successful.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR STEVE DAVIS
Q: How much has Jeremy grown since he’s been at MGCCC?
“He’s improved a great deal. He comes from a tough situation and struggled a little bit academically early. But now he’s put himself in the position where he if does what he’s supposed to do this semester, he can graduate in December. He’s done well. He’s worked really hard in the weight room during the offseason. He’s a very coachable guy. He loves the game. He understands the game. He’s a jewel for a coach, because he doesn’t just listen to what you tell him, he gets into what you tell him. He tries to do everything you tell him.”
Q: What led Jeremy to MGCCC? He also played wide receiver last year, so what led you to move him back to his preferred spot on defense?
“We only get eight out-of-state players each year. Brick Haley’s a good friend of mine and he asked if we could take him because they needed to place him. We only get eight, and we had enough defenders. But we were short receivers, so we asked him to play receiver. So he did and did a good job for us. But he has a defensive mentality. We moved him this spring to defense, and he’s gotten better every day.”
Q: How closely did the LSU coaches monitor Jeremy these last two seasons?
“I talk to Brick all the time. He checked on Jeremy all the time. They talk regularly, and Jeremy went to some games. Coach Raymond has called and checked on him as well. Corey played for me when I coached the DBs at LSU, so I have a relationship with him also. They’re excited to get him, and I can understand why.”
Q: How excited is Jeremy now that he’s able to get a second chance with LSU?
“He’s excited, but he doesn’t really get excited. He’s a guy that takes care of business. He knew coming here that they’d want him back. That’s what he’s always wanted to do. Now he’s concentrating on his grades and getting on down there.”
Q: What is Jeremy like off the field?
“Jeremy’s a fun guy to be around. He’s full of life and energy. He’s just fun to be around. He’s good on and off the field. He struggled in the classroom some, but he’s worked really hard to overcome that also.”
Q: What are the biggest strengths of Jeremy’s game?
“He’s tall, he’s long. He’s got long arms, range and great DB skills and techniques. Our defensive back coach [Stevon Moore] played in the NFL 11 years, and the techniques he’s taught him, those come natural to Jeremy. He’s made some plays that I just can’t describe. He’s got a much different talent, and he works really hard at everything we ask him to do. He’s just a really good natural football player.”