Savage signs with Southwest Mississippi CC
Published 12:01 am Friday, March 7, 2014
Derek Savage Jr. just wants to get better.
The Opp senior decided on Thursday that Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss. is the best option as he signed his intent to play papers in front of family, teammates and coaches at OHS.
Savage the big attraction to the school came when Southwest assistant coach Kelby Bowman said that he’d almost guaranteed him a start spot on the team.
“I was very interested in them,” Savage said. “When I went down and visited the campus, I fell in love with it.”
Savage said a big highlight about the campus is that it seems “calm” and that it offers help to students who need it.
“I felt like my ACT (score) was low,” he said. “If I can get a lot of tutors, then it’ll help me graduate.”
Southwest Mississippi Community College is a two-year school that’s a part of the NJCAA. The Bears play in the South Division of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges.
Other than SMCC, Savage visited several other schools including Auburn, Huntingdon and Jacksonville State.
It wasn’t until his second visit to the community college is when he decided he wanted to play football for the Bears.
To be able to play football at this level is a big accomplishment for linebacker, he said.
“It feels good,” Savage said. “Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to play football. With my low ACT score, I didn’t feel like I was going to get recruited.
“At a junior college, an ACT score isn’t required,” he said. “With me going to a junior college, it’ll give me a second chance to get recruited.”
Savage said he wants to play two years for the Bears and get better as a player to maybe play for a D-1 school.
Savage started playing football in the tinymite league at Opp and went up through the ranks. He’s worn No. 23 since his middle school days.
I wanted number 21, but 23’s been my number,” Savage quipped.
When asked why he likes football so much, Savage said “the sky’s the limit on that one.”
“The main thing I love about football is the contact,” he said. “On defense, I love to compete. I hate losing. I want to be on defense to stop the offense from scoring.”
The senior said he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for his coaches.
“I just wanted to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play at the next level,” Savage said. “And, I wanted to thank my coaches for helping me succeed to make it to the next level. If it wasn’t for my coaches, I wouldn’t have had a chance to make it to the next level.”
Derek is the son of Derek and Shemika Savage of Opp.