Like most incoming freshmen, Jonnas Spivey had dreams of stepping onto the field last fall and playing right away.
With Mississippi State’s depth at wide receivers last year, the coaching staff made the decision to redshirt the 6-foot, 182-pounder. While Spivey was initially saddened with the news, it ultimately taught him the virtue of patience.
“Redshirting was tough,” Spivey said. “My family came up to every game and that was a tough pill to swallow but I prayed about it and talked to my family. They told me not to get discouraged and continue to work hard. I’ve gotten stronger and better. Coach G (Billy Gonzales) sees a difference in me so I think I’m doing well.”
Spivey was able to showcase just how much he had improved during the Bulldogs’ spring game in April. He led all receivers with 101 yards on three catches, one of which was an 82-yard touchdown from Damian Williams.
In fact, Spivey went over the century mark in the final two spring scrimmages having hauled in six passes for 103 yards and another score the previous weekend as well.
“I thank God for this opportunity,” Spivey said. “I’m blessed to be here. I just want to continue to make my family and my school proud of me and leave a name for myself.”
Those that have followed Spivey’s career since his high school days are not a bit surprised by his success. He was a two-way standout playing both quarterback and defensive back for Bay Springs where accumulated 2,480 yards of offense and 30 touchdowns as a senior and made nine interceptions – three of which be brought back for scores in addition to a kickoff return for a touchdown.
However, Spivey admits that transitioning from Class 2A football into the Southeastern Conference has its difficulties.
“It was tough because the practices and workouts are longer,” Spivey said. “Everything is 10 times harder. When you’re the best guy, you really don’t have to push yourself that hard and here it’s different.”
Spivey received scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Southern Miss and Tennessee during the recruiting process but credits MSU’s close proximity and the bond he made with his fellow Bulldog signees with his contentment as he starts his second year of college.
“I’ve been very happy here,” Spivey said. “It’s right up the road from my hometown and the guys in my (signing) class are very close. We came in as a whole so we’ve all been a family since that day. It’s a blessing to all be playing together.”