FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME: Stoudemire looks to go off in final season

Published 12:05 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

Opp graduate Quan Stoudemire has high expectations coming into his final season on the field for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

“Coming from Opp, I wasn’t use to this kind of thing,” Stoudemire said. “The whole college experience has been amazing. Playing for a national champoinship and conference championships is incredible. I never thought I would be in this position. It’s been a blessing and I love it.”

Stoudemire is a fifth year senior and will suit up for the Gamecocks for his final season this fall.

“It’s more than exciting,” Stoudemire said. “This is big time. It’s my senior year and I’m ready to ball out. I want to be a first-team All-American, All-Conference and hopefully get a shot at the NFL.”

In his time at Jacksonville State, Stoudemire has been a key player for a team that has won four-straight Ohio Valley Conference champoinships.

“I’ve already got four rings,” Stoudemire said. “I want to get a fifth-straight conference championship ring and then get a ring for the national championship.”

Stoudemire said that his family is what motivates him to be his best on and off the field.

“My little girl is my biggest motivation,” Stoudemire said. “I do it so that one day she can look back and see that I was making something of myself to support her. I want to provide for my family either with my college degree or the NFL. When ever I feel down and feel and want to give up, I just think about my family and I keep pushing.”

The Gamecocks get the season started on Aug. 25 against North Carolina A&T at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. That game will be televised on ESPN at 6 p.m.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” Stoudemire said of playing on national television. “It really feels great. I’m just a kid from Opp and I have a million people watching me. I can’t really describe it, but it makes you feel like you are somebody. Not everyone gets a chance to do that. I just try to stay humble and go hard.”

Stoudemire was third on the team with 61 tackles last year, but this year he has he sights set on an even bigger number.

“I want to be the best linebacker in the OVC, if not the nation,” Stoudemire said. “I want to be first-team All-American and first-team All-Conference. I want to have more than 100 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions with one of the going for a touchdown. I will accomplish all of my goals.”

Stoudemire said he is ready to get the season started.

“This is how I feed myself,” Stoudemire said. “I’m going to go out there and eat. Most people eat at a round table, but I eat on the field. I feel like a hunter out there. I’m hunting whoever has the ball.”

Stoudemire graduated in April with a degree in integrated studies and is currently working towards a master’s degree in criminal justice.