It's not often that a player gets his wish, much less two, but J.C. Brignone, who has two wishes when it comes to where he will play college, may have gotten those last Friday.
"Really, my goal has always been to play in the SEC because I feel that is the toughest conference," said Brignone. "My second goal is to (major) in Civil Engineering. (MSU assistant) Coach (Shane) Beamer took my film in to (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom. He said they watched the first two plays. Coach Croom then asked him if I played like that on every play and he told him that he had about 20 more minutes on the film. (Coach Croom) then said that it was a no-brainer, so they called (St. Stanislaus) Coach Wittman with the offer."
Two plays, what the heck did he do during those two plays that would cause a man (Sly Croom) who has coached NFL talent for 17 years to drop everything and make an offer?
"The first play was a blocked field goal during a game last year against (4A state runner-up) Oak Grove," said Brignone. "We came out and were winning 7-3, then they had a long run against us. I was really mad after that and had an energy boost. On the film, it shows that I ran over two guys and then blocked the field goal. The second play, I believe I beat a double team and made a tackle in the backfield."
Considering his wrestling background, which ended when he turned 17 years old in February, I guess it's not surprising that he can make plays like that.
"I had wrestled for four year and had won the state (championship in Louisiana) for three years," said Brignone, who can bench press 385 pounds, squat 525 and dead lift 550. "I was nationally ranked my last two years, 6th in the nation one year and 3rd (team) All-American my last year. When I came in for spring training after my first wrestling year, my forty time went down by three-tenths of a second and I was a lot quicker and stronger. I was a lot more agile and a lot lower coming off the line. It has helped me tremendously. I owe it all to my coach, Mark Morgan, and Coach Bam Bam, my wrestling coach."
What was his reaction when he heard that he had an offer from Mississippi State?
"I was really in shock and was at a loss for words," said Brignone, who also has an offer from Rice University. "All my friends were wondering what was wrong with me. I was on the phone and couldn't talk because I felt so good."
Did MSU, during their May recruiting call, give any hint that an offer might be forthcoming?
"They told me that they like the fact that I can play and the attitude that I have on the field and off the field," said Brignone. "I have a very good grade point average. On the field, I put football first and when I'm at school, I put schoolwork first. They like the fact that I'm a student-athlete."
With two offers on the table, who else is showing serious interest in him?
"UL-Lafayette is very interested in me and wants me to come up to a camp," said Brignone, who favors SEC schools at this point. "I talked to the (Big Ten member) Northwestern coach today (Monday). I also talked to the Stanford coach. Army is also pretty interested. I liked the interview with them, but I don't know if I will go to the Army. That's really the ones that I have talked to. LSU and Ole Miss came down to see me and have talked to me some. I went to their Junior Days. They mainly send me letters."
Obviously, MSU and Rice have him high on their recruiting lists. We know he likes the fact that MSU is in the SEC and has his academic major. Are there other things about them that sets them apart? And where does Rice fit into his recruiting picture?
"I like how (Mississippi State) acts toward me," said Brignone. "They seem like they are really trying to be my friend. It's more like one on one, instead of being like a coach to a player. I've had that (kind of relationship) with Coach Wittman since my 8th grade year. I like that. And it makes me want to play harder for you. It's kind of like they are an uncle to me.
"I like (Rice's) academic standing. I don't really know much about their football because I haven't heard much about it."
But, there is no doubt, based on my conversations with J.C., which one of those two schools is at the top of his recruiting list.
"Mississippi State is tops in my mind right now, because they have offered me and they have everything that I am looking for," said Brignone. "I appreciate the other offer, but with that being where I want to play, I like how it is standing right now."
It seems that Brignone has found everything that he wants in a school. Is he close to making a commitment?
"I don't really know right now," said Brignone, who has tentative plans on attending camps at MSU and LSU and possibly one other yet to be determined school. "I want to see how the summer goes. I have to get to my workouts everyday and do my running. And get in my best shape, so they'll know that they offered the right person. If I go into the season and still like them, then I might stick with them. But I want to let everything ride out, and see whatever else happens."
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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.