Jay Hopson’s close connection with an up-and-coming quarterback helped deliver a new verbal commitment for Southern Miss on Monday.
After informing Hopson of his decision on Sunday, Northwest Mississippi Community College quarterback Jack Abraham announced his commitment to the Golden Eagles Monday night.
“Ever since (Hopson) was at Alcorn when I was in high school, he said that wherever he went that I’d have a spot,” Abraham said. “That was definitely important to me. He believed in me, and I took that to heart.”
Abraham, a mobile quarterback with a good arm, will have three years of eligibility remaining.
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Abraham plans to sign with USM this month and enroll for the spring semester after leading Northwest to an 8-3 record in his lone season at the junior college level. He completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,949 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions at NWCC.
He originally signed with Louisiana Tech following a standout career at Oxford High School and enrolled for the 2017 spring semester. After going through spring practice at Tech, he decided to transfer to NWCC.
“I live with the motto, ‘Everything works out for a reason,’” Abraham said. “I got a year under my belt at the D-1 level. I got to see how fast it is. I got to Northwest, got my confidence back, and I’m headed back to D-1.”
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Abraham held offers from Tulane, California and Appalachian State out of high school. South Alabama and Georgia State offered Abraham this year at NWCC.
USM offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and offensive line coach Erik Losey have both been active in recruiting Abraham.
“They adjust their offense to the quarterback they have,” Abraham said. “I got to see them recently and coach Dawson told me that I’m the perfect fit.”
Abraham will enter a crowded quarterback situation with redshirt junior Kwadra Griggs, sophomore Keon Howard and redshirt freshman Marcelo Rodriguez expected to compete for the top job this spring.
Griggs closed out the regular season as the starter after dealing with a midseason hand injury. He has completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 1,793 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I know wherever I go I have to compete,” Abraham said. “That’s just the nature of it at this level. I plan on taking the job next fall.”