Jack Abraham has been through a lot since his days of slinging the pigskin at Oxford High School and leading the Chargers to three-straight Class 5A state championship games.
The former two-time Daily Journal Offensive Player of the Year (2013, 2015) began his college career at Louisiana Tech but decided to transfer to Northwest Community College after a redshirt year in Ruston.
The gamble paid off as Abraham guided the Rangers to the 2017 MACJC state title game and landed a scholarship to Southern Miss where he became the Golden Eagles’ starting quarterback last season.
Abraham and Southern Miss will visit Mississippi State on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.
“The whole process matured me a little bit,” Abraham said. “I went through some pretty tough times leaving Louisiana Tech and going to Northwest. Junior college is a whole animal in itself. But going through that made me realize that I can never give up.
“I went through some low points but I kept my head down, kept grinding and it all worked out.”
In his first season at USM, Abraham led the nation with a 73.1 completion percentage connecting on 223 of 305 passes for 2,347 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
“It’s definitely an honor to be at the top of something like that but at the end of the day, none of that stuff really matters,” Abraham said. “What matters is going out there and getting this team some wins. Last year we were only 6-5, a very below average year for Southern Miss. I don’t really focus on (statistics) and try to be the best player and leader I can be for these guys.”
Abraham even led the Golden Eagles to a 21-20 comeback win against his former team Louisiana Tech last year. He started the game lined up as a wide receiver but finished the day completing 24 of 29 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown.
“That was awesome and a really good feeling,” Abraham said. “I still keep up with a lot of those guys and they’re still some of my really good friends, but going out there and beating them on our own home turf was a really good feeling.”
The 6-foot, 204-pounder helped the Golden Eagles open the season with a 38-10 victory over Alcorn State last weekend. Abraham hit on 18 of his 28 throws for 293 yards, one touchdown and one interception and also added a 14-yard rushing score as well.
“It was a typical first game, there were definitely some thing to look back on and work on,” Abraham said. “Overall, I thought in the second half we started to hit a little groove and got going pretty well.”
Abraham said he is looking forward to the opportunity to return to Davis Wade Stadium against the Bulldogs.
“I’ve grown up in Mississippi my whole life and have been around Mississippi State and Ole Miss,” Abraham said. “I played in a state championship there before so I’m kind of familiar with the area. I’m excited and it’s going to be fun. We’re excited as a team to go up there and compete with them.”