By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Jesse Hosket didn’t feel much pressure at all when deciding which college to attend next season. After all, it wasn’t like it was a big football game or anything.
Hosket, who led the Panthers of French Camp Academy to the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship with a 27-6 win over Smithville on Dec. 6, signed with Itawamba Community College last Wednesday.
“I’m excited about becoming part of the ICC family,” Hosket said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of pressure to it. I just thought it was the right fit.
“It was a fun time going through recruiting, but what I was really worried about was the football game we were playing each week, that’s where my focus was,” he said. ‘That’s what was important.”
The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder focused pretty well, passing for 2,423 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for 601 yards and 15 more touchdowns to lead the Panthers to an 11-5 record after an 0-4 start.
“Jesse is a real weapon,” said FCA head coach Nathan Wright during the Panthers’ stretch run. “He is a big strong guy who can really throw the ball, but he’s a tough runner as well. He’s just tough to defend.”
Hosket has been a starting quarterback since the eighth grade. That’s a string he hopes to increase to six consecutive seasons when things kick off at Itawamba in the fall.
“It is my intention to do the best I can to get out there on the field,” he said. “One of the reasons I chose Itawamba was that I thought I had a shot to get out on the field and help the team.”
For the past five years he has had his offensive coordinator right in his ear in the form of his father, Bruce Hosket.
“Every weekend we would look at the next team and break it down,” he said. “It was a fun time. He has already told all the guys up there that they will have an extra coach now.”
Hosket said location of the ICC campus reminded him of French Camp, which made him feel comfortable.
There will be at least two friendly faces for Hosket to gaze at from time to time when he gets to ICC’s Fulton campus, as earlier this month FCA teammates Hagen Box and Cole Henson signed baseball scholarships with the Indians. Box and Henson were also key members of FCA’s football team.
“It will be fun hanging around with those guys,” Hosket said. “We have been playing ball together for a long time.”
Itawamba, under the direct of coach Jon Williams, has made the MACJC State Playoffs for each of the past six seasons.
“We feel really strong about the class we signed,” Williams said. “We looked for a guy that is a great football player, a guy that wanted to be the best student he could be, a guy that was striving to be a better person, but most of all we looked for a guy that would be a valued family member. I believe we found that with this class and we are certainly excited about this summer.”
In all the Indians signed 34 players on Wednesday.