English signs with Bethel University

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English signs with Bethel University

By Kris Freeman, White House Football

WHITE HOUSE — Senior offensive tackle Jarrison English signed Tuesday to play college football for Bethel University after a three-year career for the Blue Devils at White House High School.

English will graduate this spring, and was the recipient of the prestigious Sully Award at the 2012 White House Football Banquet this January, in honor of his contributions to the program on and off the field. The award is named in honor of Cody and Cory Sullins, former three-time Academic All-SEC linemen and starters for the Tennessee Volunteers.

Jarrison selected as first team offensive tackle for the All-District 9-AA team. He is the second offensive tackle and third player overall to sign to play college football from this senior class, joining classmate Zack Escue. Escue and kicker Chase Dunlap inked with Austin Peay State University.

“It was just overwhelming, a great feeling,” the senior said after signing with Bethel with his family present at The Burr Building at White House Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a new chapter in my life, and seeing the work I am going to be doing athletically and academically for the next four years.

“I know that God has big things planned for me and I just have to keep working hard and do my part and let Him handle everything else.”

English was a two-year starter and played both offensive and defensive tackle, wearing No. 69 for the Blue Devils. White House finished 7-6 and made its third straight trip to the Class 4-A quarterfinals and the Blue Devils were the District 9-AA champions.

While his offensive stats were blocking for an offensive backfield, Jarrison made 52 career tackles on defense with one sack and six tackles for losses. He also caused one fumble and had six quarterback hurries.

White House rushed for 2,656 yards and passed for 1,042 during English’s senior year. Senior tailback Grant Wicker was named the All-District 9-AA Most Valuable Player and the All-County Offensive Player of the Year by local media.

“Wherever they put me at Bethel, I’m going to work hard and play,” English said. “If they want me to play tackle, I’ll play tackle; if they want me to play guard, I’ll play guard. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

Jarrison is still undecided on his major but is targeting science as a student. The well-spoken and well-mannered young man is admired by his teachers and administration, and that is evident in his plans.

“I love science, especially biology,” he explained. “But I am at a point where I can’t really tell will fit me the best for the rest of my life. When I get there my freshman year, I will take my core classes and get everything figured out, but I know no matter what I am going to be minoring in religious studies.”

Bethel University is a private, four-year school in McKenzie of northwest Tennessee affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and an enrollment of over 5,000 students. The Wildcats play football in the NAIA and finished the 2012 season at 9-4 and undefeated in the MidSouth Conference at 6-0, losing 10-7 to Missouri Valley College in the first round of the NAIA Championship Series playoffs.

Coach Marlon Watson, a former college linebacker at Northern Illinois, enters his third season in 2013 as the head coach of the Wildcats. But English was also complimentary of his high school coaching staff for the chance to be a Blue Devil and succeed after coming on to the team as a sophomore.

“I didn’t play my freshman year – playing earlier I had broken my arm and my parents just didn’t really want to let me play,” he laughed. “I told them they needed to quit babying me and let me get out there and even though I didn’t play the first year much, I was able to get out there on the practice field and take out my aggression and keep getting better.”

English said there is one thing he will take from head coach Jeff Porter and his coaches at White House, more than anything.

“I know one thing that will always stick with me is to fight through adversity,” he said. “In practice, at games, it was always ‘fight through adversity.’ And that’s not just something that will stick with me in games, but throughout the rest of my life in everything I do.

“There are going to be times that are hard, when I feel down and need to push through, there is always someone who is going to be looking up to me and I need to be a leader. And that is something these coaches did a really good job and made sure was burned inside of me.”

Photo by Tommy Rouse
Jarrison English of White House High School signed to play college football at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn. He is pictured with parents Leonard and Jacquinlyn English, sister Jaquinlyn and brother Drezmond.

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