September 2, 2009 10:07:00 AM
Jackson State senior linebacker Marcus Jamison is looking forward to being part of history on Saturday.
That''s the day Jackson State will play Mississippi State for the first time in school history.
Jamison is eager to take the field for the game that will kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Mississippi State''s Scott Field and be aired on ESPNU.
"I''m very excited," Jamison said. "I''m so excited it will put a smile on my face. But I''ve got my game face on, too. I''m so excited. This game means a lot to me. It means a lot to Jackson, Miss.
"I''m very excited. This game is going to mean history."
The game will be like a homecoming for Jamison, who is from Brooksville and played at Noxubee County High School.
Jamison followed Mississippi State while in high school, especially when former Noxubee County quarterback Omarr Conner played for the Bulldogs from 2003-06.
"I wasn''t a big, big fan, but I had guys I played with in high school, like Omarr Conner, who played ball at Mississippi State," Jamison said. "It brought a lot of attention to my hometown because we had a person from my hometown playing.
"I pretty much watched them every time they had a game because I just knew Omarr was going to do something very good. He always did things that made my eyes get wide because he was a bad athlete."
Jamison is also looking forward to the game being televised.
"People that can''t come to the game can watch it on TV," Jamison said. "Everybody should want to see this game because it''s the first time JSU and MSU have ever met. It''s a game everybody shoud want to catch.
"People will get to see our program and see what the Jackson State family is all about. We''ve got a good tradition and we play hard-nosed football."
Jamison was recruited by Mississippi State, but he believed the best place for him was Jackson State.
He said he doesn''t go into Saturday''s game believing he has anything to prove.
"I''m going into my senior year and I have to play hard regardless on every snap of the ball," Jamison said. "It''s going to be a very exciting game and a very high-tempo game. I just want to be involved on every run play. I''m trying to be involved on every play."
Jamison (6-1, 235) has been a steady contributor on defense the past two seasons. He was third on the team in tackles with 61 as a junior and was second with 70 as a sophomore.
For his career, he''s recorded 150 tackles, recovered three fumbles and intercepted a pass in 31 games.
Jamison considers himself to be the leader of the defense this season and his goal is to average 15 tackles per game.
"That means I have to be hopping on every play," Jamison said. "My goal this year is to just go all out."
Jamison is one of four former Noxubee County players that will be part of Saturday''s game. He''s joined by redshirt freshman defensive end Javarius Conner and sophomore defensive back Andre Wright at Jackson State, while Deontae Skinner is a freshman linebacker at Mississippi State.
Noxubee County coach M.C. Miller is looking forward to the game because of the connections to the school in Macon.
"I''ll have a lot of pride because I have three at Jackson State that are playing and I''ve got one at Mississippi State and that means a lot," Miller said. "They all come here when school is out for the summer and they all come by to lift weights and they all come by to talk to me.
"I''m just excited about seeing them play each other. It''s a great thing for the community and everything."
Miller plans to go to the game and also get to the Alcorn State at Southern Miss game in Hattiesburg on Saturday night. He wants to make it to Alcorn State''s game because former Noxubee County players Recardo Hill and Malcolm Taylor play for the Braves.
Conner (6-4, 250) embarks on his first season at Jackson State after being redshirted last season, and Wright (6-0, 200) seeks more playing time this year after seeing action in six games and registering two tackles as a freshman.
The former Noxubee County players are joined at Jackson State by Jonathan Archie (6-2, 230), a freshman defensive end from Starkville. Archie recorded 70 tackles and seven sacks as a senior for the Yellow Jackets last season.