As most of you know, Hurricane Katrina caused a lot of Mississippi Gulf Coast residents to be displaced. One of those was Mississippi State football commitment J.C. Brignone.
J.C., who transferred to Parkview (GA) High School to play football after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his school in Mississippi, appears to be heading back home within the next week or two.
"Right now, we are debating on when we are leaving because we have our FEMA trailer coming sometime this week," said the 6-1, 275-pound defensive tackle. "We are debating on what stuff to take home and get ready for our homecoming. My dad (a contractor) is already there. And I'm ready to go myself."
And he's also ready to sign on the dotted line with Mississippi State when the February Signing Day rolls around. And being in Mississippi when he signs is extremely important to the transplanted Mississippian.
"One thing I am happy about is that I talked to (St. Stanislaus head football) Coach (Casey) Wittmann and asked him if it would be ok if I came to the school and signed there," said J.C. "They were more than happy for me to come sign. But I think I will be happier knowing that I am actually in school when I do it."
He and his parents had the chance to talk with the Mississippi State coaches recently when they came to his school for a visit.
"(The MSU coaches) came to the school (on the 8th of December) and my parents came to the school and we sat down and talked with them a few minutes," said J.C. "My parents stayed with them for a good while, but I had to go to a wrestling practice. (MSU Head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom had a banquet that he had to go to and speak at."
Did the in-school visit solidify his commitment to Mississippi State?
"When we went up for my official visit, my parents kind of fell for (Mississippi) State right then, so it was pretty much set for them," he explained. "And I already had my mind set, so, it was just an extra help on the choice."
Not only is J.C. getting prepared for his Mississippi homecoming, but, as he noted earlier, he's also back to competing in wrestling, a sport that he feels will help him prepare for play in the always rugged Southeastern Conference.
"I started wrestling again because it helped my quickness and agility so much, so I thought it would be best for me as I got ready for (Mississippi) State," said J.C. "Right now, I'm 16 and 1. I lost my first match. It was about two days after I started wrestling. I went to a third period and I was so tired. All the rest of my matches have been first period pins. I went to North Carolina and won North Carolina All-Tournament as a heavyweight." [Editors Note: J.C. weighed 289 pounds while playing football, but had to lose 14 pounds to participant as a heavyweight in wrestling. 275 pounds is the maxiumum weight that a heavyweight can weigh.]
Despite playing with a broken hand for most of the season, J.C. wound up recording 50+ tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks in 7 games.
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.