Workmanlike Character

Fort Scott Community College head football coach Jeff Sims has been impressed with the business-like demeanor of Darius Packer from the first moment he set foot on campus.

"He's very quiet. He just does his job," Sims said of Packer, who has been a solid player in the first part of of the season. "He's not a rah-rah guy. He just comes to work and gets after it. Whether he's scoring a touchdown, or doing conditioning work, his demeanor is the same. He's a low-key guy, but he does everything he is asked to do."

Packer's demeanor might not be the typical one associated with junior college players. Rightly or wrongly, many jucos are viewed as "being in junior college for a reason", and often those reasons aren't good ones. However, as with most stereotypes, perceptions tend to get painted on an entire group with a broad brush, and thus there has been something of a stigma attached to junior college players. It's an unfair situation, and one that certainly doesn't apply in this case.

After graduating from C.F. Vigor High School in Alabama, Packer, who planned ot come to West Virginia, did not attain NCAA qualifying scores. After sitting out the fall semester, he attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, with an eye on graduating from that school, but he had to leave early in the spring semester to help his mother, who was ill. After working through that situation (Sims notes that her health is better now), he enrolled at a Mobile, Ala., junior college before moving on to Fort Scott this year.

The determination to work through so many roadblocks is certainly a testament to Packer's strength of character and will, and he has been rewarded with a Division I scholarship – one that he thought was his three years ago. However, in having to work so hard and battle to overcome the many roadblocks that were in his path, it's safe to assume that he fully appreciates what he has earned, and won't let it go to waste.

"He's a quiet young man, but he goes to class, works hard and does everything right," Sims concluded.

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