How Did You End Up At Millsaps College?

As a freshman in college I enrolled in Millsaps College here in Jackson and I decided that I wanted to play football over there. They didn’t recruit me other than maybe a cursory phone call from one of the coaches being polite and saying we know you’re from around here, you can come look at us if you want to.  I don’t think they really cared. I did go over there and I did say I’m going to play football and they told me when to show up for summer camp and I showed up with guys from all over the Southeast who were playing football at Millsaps College. I remember going through the line where they were giving us all of our equipment and specifically, they were handing out a gray practice shirt that said Millsaps football on it and these purple shorts that had Millsaps College football on the left thigh. You know, they were kind of cool looking. You wanted to be a college football player and part of the team and, you know, do something different.  I remember, I got up to the front of the line, when it was my turn, and Tommy Ranager, who was a former Millsaps player, was the head coach at this point.  I got to him and he was going to hand me my purple shorts and he looked and me and he looked back in the box and he grabbed from the bottom corner as if he was saving these for me, this pair of gym shorts that were old, that looked like they were ten years old. They had nothing Millsaps printed on them at all. They were faded on like a fifth-grade gym student and he gave me those and I thought, “Why did I just get these?” You know, I wasn’t going to say anything, I wasn’t going to smart off to him. So, I went and changed, put on my old fifth grade gym shorts and went out to the first practice where they were timing us in the 40-yard dash.  I let everybody go before me and everybody was watching to see who had the fastest time and all the receivers and defensive backs were getting timed and they were calling out the times so everyone could hear it. I waited, and waited, and waited, and then finally it got to the end and I went last. Well, the forty-yard dash was right in my wheelhouse. I had been training for that. I knew I would do well. I ran. I had hands-down the fastest time on the team. As we were leaving the field, Tommy Ranager, the head coach, came up to me and goes, in a kind of unceremonious fashion, he goes, “Hey, I’m going to get you a new pair of shorts”.