Say Hey O'Shae

For O'Shae Bridges the process of choosing his college home was simple. He just went with his heart and it led him to Middle Tennessee.

O'Shae Bridges Profile

"Me and my mom went up there for an official visit. I was just blown away," Bridges says about his trip to Murfreesboro. "They put us up in the Embassy Suites and that's just a really nice area. We also saw The Avenue and my mom really liked that."

The fact that Bridges' mom made the trip with him turned out to be pretty important when it was all said and done. O'Shae maintains that his mom was adamant that academics be one of the top factors when deciding his collegiate future. Because of that, his final two choices came down to Elon and Middle Tennessee.

"She really liked how strong the academics were at MTSU. They have tutors for players and they have a freshman guidance counselor," he says. "That was one of the main things she was looking at: the academics and how they treated the players as far as school goes. I'm going to play football, but I need to get a degree as well because football isn't always going to be there."

On top of an impressive academic presentation, the Blue Raiders coaching staff also made an impression on the Bridges during their visit.

"I'm never met a coaching staff like Middle Tennessee," says Bridges fondly. "They just seem real cool. Coach Stockstill is probably the coolest guy I've ever met. In 30 minutes I just fell in love with him."

In addition to Coach Stockstill, O'Shae also had the opportunity to meet his future position coach, defensive line coach John Palermo. Bridges notes that he was extremely impressed with Palermo and his experience, stating that he's extremely excited about the prospect of the seasoned coach helping him reach his full potential.

Bridges has also spent some time with newly named defensive coordinator Steve Ellis.

"He's a cool guy," Bridges says of his future coordinator. "He came down last week for a visit just to show us some paperwork. He's a really cool guy in general. I'm excited about him being our defensive coordinator because I saw the way he connected to the players and it seems like he's going to get the defense really fired up and playing for him."

For now, Bridges is able to spend a few months relaxing and preparing to move on to the next step in his football career. Blue Raider fans can expect big things out of the 6-2, 220 lb. defensive end. While a bit under-sized at the position, he's quick off the line and is an effective pass rusher, something that has become the norm for the high-paced Middle Tennessee defenses of late.

Stay tuned for for more on O'Shae and the rest of the 2011 signing class.

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