One of the state's strongest kickers over the last two seasons landed his first FBS offer on Friday.
St. Martin senior punter/kicker Sean Gomez received an official scholarship offer from Southern Miss in the mail.
“It was awesome. I was actually really shocked,” Gomez said. “It's not normal for kickers to get a full-ride scholarship.”
St. Martin coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead and the school's principal called Gomez into the office to inform him of the good news, leaving the offer letter sitting on the table.
“That was really a blessing,” Gomez said.
Gomez has been on USM's radar for at least the last year. He built a good relationship with former USM receivers/special teams coach John Wozniak, who is now the running backs coach at Oklahoma State.
“Whenever I went up on a visit, Coach Wozniak told me that they were real interested in me,” Gomez said. “I still never expected a full ride coming.”
Gomez informed his parents of his scholarship offer when he got home from school.
“I can't even explain it,” he said. “I surprised them with it when I got home. I came in and showed them. They were both beyond happy. My dad was like, 'You know what this means. You get all the good stuff.'”
Gomez hopes to make a trip soon to Hattiesburg.
“I feel like I don't have a lot of time to decide with it,” he said. “I'll try to get up there as soon as possible and get everything looked at, talk to my parents and coaches. We'll see what the best decision is for me.”
Both of Gomez's parents attended USM.
Whitehead sees Gomez as a guy that can handle placekicking and kickoff duties at the next level.
“I feel good about him up to about 55 yards,” Whitehead said Friday.
About 80 percent of Gomez's kickoffs landed as touchbacks last season, according to Whitehead.
Gomez was 7-of-14 on field goals last season with a season long of 41 yards. At least five of his misses were on tries of 50 yards or more.
As a punter, Gomez averaged 42.3 yards on 19 attempts.
Louisiana Tech and Georgia have both shown interest in Gomez and he was invited to attend camp at Alabama.