Will Derrick (’08) has had good days and bad days at the office of the Millsaps Majors Football facility. The good times are fresh in Will’s mind, now that he has earned a starting job at defensive end. The bad days began two years ago when Derrick showed up as a freshman under the tutelage of Mike Dubose, the former Crimson Tide head coach. “It was a completely different atmosphere” (than at St. John’s), said Derrick. “You would never think about missing a practice because someone else would take your place.”
Starting in the fall of 2008, Derrick was one of those guys trying to take over the job of the guy in front of him. In his first season he rode the pine except on special teams. In his sophomore season he found the field as a defensive sub, and now he has a full-time role. “I am starting at D-end this season and having more fun than ever,” said Will. “There is a sense of excellence about the program because everyone is making a commitment.”
Derrick went into the Millsaps program as the lone Maverick, but now has company with freshman Jett Williams (’10). As much as Derrick relishes his role as a starter, he is enjoying in Jett’s journey from the practice squad to the game field as well. “He (Jett) had been complaining about how miserable life as scout team rb is, and in the game last week he came off of the field with the kick off team with an enormous smile saying that was the most fun he’d ever had and now he loves it,” said Will.
The coaching staff was also smiling. Jett was awarded special team player of the week against DePauw and is primed for Saturday’s Homecoming game against Huntingdon. “Millsaps football is different than SJS in that we have special teams, offense, and defense meetings everyday except for Monday. We watch film every single day of ourselves and our upcoming opponents and even have practices on Sundays. It was a lot of work getting use to, but I really enjoy playing here,” said Jett. “The only thing I have not adjusted to yet, is putting on purple everyday for games and practices and no red and black. That, I may never get use to,” and is just part of a day on the job.