• John Macon Gillespie

Stinson Goes From Football Field to Mission Field

Hartfield Academy sophomore signal caller Nick Stinson was one the 15 players named to the Fortius Project All-combine team, form a field of more than 60 players, this past Saturday at Petal High. He put forth an impressive showing that should generate a lot of excitement for what he can do looking ahead to his junior and senior campaigns.

“I thought it as a great experience as far as meeting guys and competing with the best guys from the area. I was very honored to make the all-combine team and be recognized with the phenomenal athletes that got picked,” Stinson told SES Mississippi.

The competition was a major factor that attracted Stinson to the Fortius Project. He saw it as a challenge to compete against the best and felt it could only better him.

“It’s exciting to me to be able to compete and grow as an overall athlete and quarterback,” Stinson explained.

In a conversation with Stinson prior to Fortius he explained touch on his passes, his ability to read a defense and make decisions would be his biggest strengths in a camp setting. That statement could not have held more true after watching him put in work on Saturday. Stinson proved to be one of the most accurate and precise passers on touch passes and routes down the field. During the 7-on-7 period he was a vocal leader and found all the soft spots in the defense to drive his group down the field.

While he was unhappy with how he tested out on the 40-yard dash, broad jump and 5-10-5 drills, you couldn’t help but to be impressed by his athleticism for a quarterback with so much time ahead of him to grow and improve. However, he will use his performance in the testing period to drive him through the rest of the offseason to get those times and numbers where he would like them to be.

“I feel like personally I threw well, but didn’t test as well as I’d like in the combine part. The half-field 7-on-7 was my favorite portion. I had a great time,” Stinson said.

Not only did He enjoy competing with the other guys at the camp, but he particularly enjoyed getting to know some of the guys as well. The experience gave him a chance to get to know some of the talented guys that he had yet to meet or hear about.

“I learned a lot about the different schools and players that were really good that I hadn’t heard about yet,” Stinson said. “I was very impressed with the crazy athleticism from guys like Rodney Hawkins.”

After beginning 2015 as the quarterback-in-learning, Stinson saw himself thrown into the fire in the second half of the fifth game of the season. He would start the final five games of the season for the Hawks. At the end of the season he had tallied 1,100 passing yards and 11 touchdowns.

“Last season was disappointing from a win perspective, but we are building a program and getting better every year,” Stinson explained.

For he and his teammates, returning experience is a reason to believe the program will continue to be built up. His own experience especially will help him become the leader to help his team continue to get better.

“Being a year older I hope to become stronger as a leader. I feel like my work ethic sets me apart and gives me the ability to lead by example,” Stinson said.

“Our new experience as a team will help as well, considering we only lost one starter from last year to graduation.”

Not only will experience or confidence gained by Stinson help him going forward, but so will his drive from within. He plays the game because of his love for it, but also for much, much more than that.

“For me, the ability to play the game as an outlet to honor God and do my best to bring him glory,” He said.

Following his impressive performance at Fortius, Stinson departed the country for a mission trip to Haiti.

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