Former East Central standout offensive lineman Conner Estes has left the Louisiana Tech football team and plans to transfer to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, he told the Sun Herald on Saturday.
Estes signed with Louisiana Tech in February of 2017, but he never quite felt comfortable on the campus in Ruston.
“I didn't even finish the spring,” Estes said. “I was ready, been ready. I talked with (MGCCC offensive line coach Les George) before I left. I told him, 'Man, I'm ready to go home.' He didn't even recruit me. My parents didn't want me to leave Tech and didn't want me to make a rash decision.
“I wasn't unhappy at Tech. I wanted to be closer to home. I never got any time to come home.”
Estes was back home in Jackson County for about a month when junior college coaches began to reach out.
“A bunch of junior colleges started hitting me up,” he said. “I had to choose between (Pearl River Community College) and Perk. MGCCC is closer and it has more connections with the places I'd like to go in the future. I ended up choosing Perk.”
Estes admitted that the decision to leave Louisiana Tech came down to simply being home sick.
“It's something I would have moved past if I had stuck it out,” he said. “This is just an opportunity to be somewhere a little closer.”
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Estes plans to start classes at MGCCC at the end of May and will officially report for football on July 8.
“I'm pretty stoked,” he said. “I feel like do I'll do very well at Perk. It gives me a chance to get settled in closer to home. I'll probably get more highly recruited at Perk than I was out of high school.
“Obviously, I was in a run heavy offense in high school. I've been at Louisiana Tech for a year and that helped me become more of a polished pass blocker.”
Estes said he hopes to land the right tackle job at MGCCC and have the opportunity to transfer to an FBS program once the fall semester comes to an end in December.
As for which FBS team he'd like to join, Estes has some ideas.
“Really and truly, I think I'd love to go to South Alabama,” he said. “(East Central seniors Tony Brown and Wyatt Green) just signed there. There are a lot of East Central ties there. That's all hearsay. If Mississippi State or Ole Miss pull the trigger, I'd go take that visit. Really, I feel like it would be great if I could get a South Alabama offer.”