Underwood building a following

Easton Underwood grew up on Mississippi State football. His father, Eric, played quarterback there during the Rockey Felker-era of the late '80's. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior quarterback plays at University School of Jackson in Tennessee tells VandyMania.com he's eager to learn more about other storied programs of the SEC like Vanderbilt, Ole, Miss, and Alabama.

"Growing up in a Bulldog family, most of what I know is Mississippi State," Underwood said. "This summer, I went to an Ole Miss elite camp, a Vanderbilt one-day camp, and a camp a Alabama. It's great to be able to see the traditions at those schools and learn more about them. I've been hearing from Mississippi State. They just invited me down for the Auburn game. I am supposed to go to Vanderbilt this weekend for the South Carolina game. The coaches usually speak to my dad.

"Coach Napier at Alabama told me that my junior season is going to be big. That's when you really see the most improvement and they'll know what to expect. He's right. I feel like I've improved tremendously since last season."[BR]

In his first year as the starting quarterback at Jackson, Underwood broke his wrist in the second game and missed a bulk of the season before coming back to helm a playoff run. Underwood has come back strong in his junior season and recently landed his first D-1 offer.[BR]

"In our last game I was named Player of the Week with around 300 passing yards and three touchdowns," he said. "I'm keeping my eyes downfield, going through my progressions. My arm strength is like ten-times better. I'm throwing it at much deeper distances. Improved speed and footwork has helped me in getting out of the pocket and evading sacks. I'm back to 100-percent. I haven't had any problems with my wrist.

"About a month ago, I received an offer from North Texas. Coach Mike Canales, the offensive coordinator, said he liked the way I took control of the offense. He said he could tell from the way I audible that i have definite leadership ability. He mentioned me being the lead blocker on a reverse as a 'gutsy play' he really liked.[BR]

"One thing I'm looking for in finding the right college is a great coaching staff. When I went to Alabama and Ole Miss, there wasn't a single coach that didn't stop and introduce themselves to me. That really impressed me."

Underwood has helped University School of Jackson get off to a 3-1 start on the season in Tennessee Division II-A.

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