Hey Blue Raider

For Jason Rexroad, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Between rehabbing a sprained foot, preparing for the state championship game and taking on the nation's top defensive end, he's also been sorting out his housing and classes for his upcoming enrollment at Middle Tennessee. Luckily for him, the pace has paid off nicely.

Jason Rexroad Profile

Rexroad has had an eventful final month to end his high school career. On Saturday, Dec. 4, his Myrtle Beach squad went head-to-head against South Pointe for the South Carolina state tile. At the same time, his future Blue Raiders were fighting for bowl eligibility by facing the Sun Belt co-champion Florida International.

"They were the underdogs to FIU, we were the underdogs to South Pointe," Rexroad laughs. "After the game, I called Coach (Nick) Coleman, and he said they were going bowling and I said I just got a ring. So, pretty good day I guess."

Everything seems to be going right for Rexroad this year. During a recruiting trip to Tennessee this Summer, he and his dad Brian decided to extend their trip by going to Murfreesboro to see what the Blue Raiders were all about. Middle Tennessee fans should be glad they did. On the drive home, Jason decided that Murfreesboro is where he wanted to be and he hasn't looked back since.

He committed without ever hearing back from the Vols and hasn't really spoken with any other programs that have come calling since.

"I think my coach told me I had nine offers come in during the season, but he didn't tell me any of them," Rexroad says. "He asked me if they mattered to me and I said ‘no', so he never told me about them. The school filled a couple size 14 shoe boxes of mail up for me. I'll probably look through them one day when I have kids, but right now I can't even tell you what's in there."

In addition to the programs that have been sending him mail, Jason says he's also had a few stop by his school.

"Georgia Tech came to the school this year," he recalls, before naming off a who's-who of BCS programs that have approached him since committing to Rick Stockstill and staff. "Tennessee, Vandy, Notre Dame, ECU, Duke, Oregon, South Carolina and Clemson, too. I think that's it."

Big time college programs weren't the only ones taking notice of Rexroad during the 2010 season. Since his final game, he's been named to the First Team All-Region, First Team All Zoneman, First Team All-Area and is waiting the results of the First Team All-State ballots.

Becoming a Champion
A true student of the game, Rexroad has worked hard to become such a sound player. The work obviously paid off, as his senior season culminated in a state championship. It certainly hasn't been an easy road, though.

"Our quarterback actually had the same injury earlier in the season. He was out from week two to 11," says Rexroad of his foot sprain. "I got hurt week 12 and missed rounds three and four of the playoffs. I had to play against Clowney, though. So I had to be back for that."

His opponent for the game was Jadeveon Clowney, Scout.com's top-rated defensive end for the 2011 class. The significance of the game and the matchup wasn't lost on Rexroad's doctor, who admittedly cleared him when he normally wouldn't. Despite the several weeks of lost practice, Rexroad maintains that he was ready for the game.

"I watched film. I watched a lot of film and studied a lot," Rexroad says of his pre-game prep for the South Pointe game. "I probably watched an hour or two a day and really studied him. I just tried to watch what he did and study his tendencies."

Middle Tennessee fans should certainly be encouraged by Jason's mature approach to the game. They should also be excited with the outcome of said preparation.

"I didn't give up anything," he says on the game. "I had two pancake/knockdown type things, but I didn't give up any tackles all game. I think [Clowney] had three sacks, but none of those were on me."

Next Up
By the time of publication, Jason will likely have taken his final exam as a high schooler and will be preparing to begin his Blue Raider career. He doesn't report until a week after the bowl game, so he's got some time left in Myrtle Beach. During those few weeks, he'll likely spend time in his high school's weight room (where he's lovingly referred to as Blue Raider).

He'll also be keeping in touch with members of his future coaching staff throughout the weeks. Whether the discussion centers around life or football, he normally talks to a Middle Tennessee staff member at least once a day.

"I talked to Coach Patterson last week and he gave me a few workouts to do," Rexroad says. "On the bench press, I'm already in the top five strength-wise. I'm about 270 or 275 right now, so I'm just trying to hold that and get stronger."

For now, Jason Rexroad is just working hard and seeing where the pieces fall. In little under a month, he'll step on campus with the intent to replace the departing Mark Fisher at right tackle. Those are going to be big shoes for anybody to fill, but even more so for a true freshman looking to make his first game and his first start the same. It's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility for Rexroad though, who has had everything going his way lately.

"Everything at MT has fallen 100% into place," he says enthusiastically. "That's where I'm supposed to be."

Stay tuned to BlueRaiderZone.com for more on Jason and the most exclusive coverage of Middle Tennessee athletics on the web.

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