Playing for mother

Michael Antonescu (OL, Ridgeland, MS) - Keeping your head up during tough times separates the men from the boys. And no, we are not talking about football, we are talking about the real world.

Michael could have hung his head when his father left his family when he was two years old, but he did not. Antonescu built a close knit relationship with his little brother and mother. But then life dealt him another serious blow. His best friend and mother, Jill Antonescu, passed away in 2005. Michael and his little brother, A.J., were left without parents.

Most kids would buckle under these circumstances, but not Michael. He moved in with two loving foster parents and maintained an 3.7 GPA/ 24 ACT in school and has excelled on the football.

"I put my momma's rose on a memorial brick we have had in the stadium for senior night on Friday," commented Michael Antonescu. I think about her every day and that is what motivates me."

There are two bracelets that Michael keeps on his wrist to remind him of his upbringing.

"I have two bracelets that never leave my body. One says “Destination Future” and the other says “Now is the time, today is the day.” I have them to remind me that there other people out there struggling just like me. Now is the time and today is the day to make it right. I never take them off. Everybody asks me about them and I am proud to tell everybody about them. It’s the strong point of my life right now,” commented Michael to the Clarion Ledger.

And keeping his head up has brought this great news.

"I am sky high right now. I am playing real good right now. I got my first offer from Memphis last week. I am real excited about that. I have been excited every since. I am getting some love from Tennessee and USM. Ole Miss and MSU have backed off, which kind of surprised me, but I have an offer from Memphis. Coaches Helton, Bolton, and Clay (Memphis) have been so good to me. I feel like I can not go wrong with them."

Which colleges are keeping in phone contact with Michael?

"Tennessee calls every week. I love talking to Coach Caldwell. Coach Helton (Memphis) calls every week. I know both of those coaches very well. We have a good feel for each other. I am getting letters from everybody. Florida, FSU, LSU, just a bunch of them."

"Which colleges are standing out the most right now?

"I have high interest in Memphis. I want to look at their medical program. I can not wait to get up to Tennessee and see what it is like. I hear it is solid orange from corner to corner up there. I can not wait to sit down with Coaches Fulmer and Caldwell. I am going up there unofficially for the AL/TN game so they can get to know me personally, and I can get to know them. I still love the Mississippi schools. I go up to Ole Miss just about every weekend. I know just about everybody up there. I went to MSU last weekend, and I knew all kinds of people up there. I am just interested in anyone who is interested in me. It happened with Memphis, and I am just waiting it out and enjoying my position."

Who said good things do not happen to good people?

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