During his sophomore season, Gabe Myles was doing things in practice that caused a veteran coach like Starkville High School head football coach Jamie Mitchell to be excited.
"During the three weeks prior to when he got hurt (he broke his collarbone during a game) in his sophomore season, he did some things in practice that were electric," said Mitchell. "You could see early on that he was going to be a special talent."
That was not only a setback for Gabe but also for the Starkville High School coaches and team.
"It really hurt (his development) missing all those weeks," said Mitchell. "So, coming into this year we didn't know what we were getting. We knew we had a great athlete, a great player, a great head on his shoulders."
But Gabe quickly showed that all he needed was a few games under his belt.
"He surpassed everything that we expected from him," said Mitchell. "He got better and better every week. He was as prolific of a guy with his feet and his arm as you could ask for."
Gabe is more than what you see on the field. It's obvious that he is a very, very talented player. But, according to Mitchell, he may be an even better person. He believes that's part of the reason why college coaches like him so much.
"He is a complete person," said Mitchell. "He's already got a 20+ on his ACT and he's a straight-A student in the classroom. He's a model citizen. He's in J-ROTC, he's in the class play, he runs track. He's just one of those kids who is involved in a lot of things. He's extremely grounded because of the family he comes from. His dad was a great player for Mississippi State who is very involved with Gabe. He has a mom who is president of our booster club. They are both great people.
"College coaches know his ability, his academics, his character and his family. I think those are the things that college coaches see when they look at him."
According to Coach Mitchell, Gabe may be one of a kind.
"It's hard to find a player like Gabe," said Mitchell. "Usually they have a flaw but Gabe doesn't."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.