ICC's Hutchins commits to MSU

Itawamba Community College punter Heath Hutchins has committed to play next year for Mississippi State. The all-American candidate from Saltillo gave his verbal commitment to MSU Head Coach Sylvester Croom.

Last year, Hutchins was an all-state punter after averaging 41.8 yards per punt (6th best in the nation) and 30 of his 55 boots were inside the 20. This season, he currently leads the nation in punting with a 46.1 yard average in 42 punts with a long of 69 and 22 of the 42 were inside the opponent's 20 yard line.

"I'm just really happy with my decision," said Hutchins, who is expected to be named all-state and all-region when those teams are officially released on November 10. "It's going to be great to punt in the SEC at Mississippi State where my family and friends are close enough to see me play and it's a place where I saw a lot of games growing up."

Hutchins' head coach at ICC, Jeff Terrill, was thankful he had the former Ray Guy Punting Academy Camper of the Year on his squad the last two years.

"Heath was a weapon for us and could change a ball game immediately when it came to field position," said Terrill, who had been at the helm of the only program in the state to qualify for the post-season the last four years until this season. "Heath was also a solid team player that sacrificed his stats every game when we asked him to either punt it directionally or even late in the year when he took on other kicking responsibilities that took away from his punting."

Hutchins, who will also be nominated for academic all-American honors, is expected to sign with MSU in December and transfer at the semester break, which will make him eligible to participate in the Bulldog spring drills.

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