May 31, 2009

Skinner still working to qualify

Mississippi State is set to have one of the strongest linebacking corps in the Southeastern Conference next season.

2009 signee Deontae Skinner is working hard this summer to make sure he is apart of that group. The Noxubee County (Miss.) standout has graduated but is still working to ensure he qualifies before the second summer term begins in July.

"I'm working on a couple of online classes right now," Skinner said. "I'm taking two of them because I'm trying to get my GPA up so I don't have to take the ACT test again. But just to be on the safe side I went ahead and signed up for the ACT test again (Thursday). I might just take the test and do the online classes too so hopefully everything will turn out good."

Skinner made a 15 on his ACT attempt in February but must achieve a 17 in order to qualify to play football this fall. The next opportunity for Skinner to take the standardized test will be on June 13.

The 6-foot-1, 234-pounder is the only high school linebacker the Bulldogs signed this year. MSU did sign junior college All-American Chris White in December.

Last season Skinner helped lead Noxubee County to a perfect 15-0 season capped off by a Class 4A State Championship. He led the Tigers with 134 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a senior defensive end.

But Skinner will drop back as a linebacker in college and will be given a shot at all three linebacker positions. He was rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 39 weakside linebacker in the country. He was also tabbed as the top linebacker in the state and the No. 19 Mississippi player overall. He was also chosen to participate in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, Ala.

Skinner stated that he has not discussed the matter of playing time with any of the State coaches but expects to come in and earn it.

"We haven't really talked about playing time," Skinner said. "The playing time is really going to be based on my performance.

Skinner was one of the many 2009 Bulldog signees in attendance along with the record setting crowd at Davis Wade Stadium this spring to get a closer look at his future teammates.

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