Over the past several weeks, Belle Chasse (La.) junior Quadry Antoine has picked up his share of early scholarship offers. But the latest offer caught the 5-foot-11 and 210-pound safety prospect by surprise.
"I was offered by Pittsburgh last week," said Antoine. "I also have offers from Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas and Western Kentucky. I then got offered by Memphis and Florida International offered me Tuesday. The Pitt offer surprised me a bit and they were one of the top schools I was interested in along with Mississippi State. So that opened up another good option for me. I wasn't expecting it since they haven't been down to see me play. So that offer opened my eyes.
"It has been somewhat surprising to hear from these big schools and it's a wonderful feeling, especially with Pitt offering and Mississippi State recruiting me. It helps me confidence going into my senior year and I consider those offers a blessing."
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Antoine noted that he remains in regular contact with Mississippi State and said the Bulldogs were planning to observe his skills this spring.
"Things are going good with Mississippi State and I talked to Coach (Greg) Knox last week," said Antoine. "He said I pretty much have an offer and he said me and two other guys were tops on their board of safeties. He said Coach (Dan) Mullen still needs to see me this spring and that will go a long ways in determining if I get an offer.
"We start spring in the first week of May. Mississippi State and a lot of other schools said they were coming down to watch me this spring. So it should be a lot of fun."
As a junior, Antoine had 67 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and two sacks, and also forced three fumbles. Eying spring practice, Antoine already has a few goals in mind.
"I want to become a better all-around safety," said Antoine. "I am a good tackler already but I want to improve my 1-on-1 coverage skills and keep improving my football I.Q. I want to be strong in man coverage and zone coverage. This year they want me to play more as a rover and I will get a lot of 1-on-1 coverage. So that is an area I want to really focus on this spring."