Photo: Westbrook Christian senior Jackson Luttrell signed a football scholarship with Jacksonville State University on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Pictured, sitting, from left: Jackson’s mom Tonya, Jackson, Jackson’s dad Phil. Stan-ding, from left: Westbrook athletic director Matt Kennedy, former Westbrook head football Brian Mintz, Jackson’s sister Morgan. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Jackson Luttrell will stay local for his college athletic career.
The Westbrook Christian senior signed a football scholarship with Jacksonville State University on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
A 6-3, 235-pound defensive end, Luttrell last season had 70 tackles (including 23 for a loss), 14 sacks, 19 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in helping the Warriors to a 7-4 record and a berth in the state playoffs. He was a Class 2A second team All-State, selection and a member of the All-Messenger first team.
Luttrell said that he knew by his so-phomore year that he wanted to play football in college.
“From then on, I got on a serious weight training program and started eating right and doing everything I could to get in the best shape that I could be in and be the best that I could be,” he said.
This past season, Jacksonville State went 9-4 and won a record fifth straight outright Ohio Valley Conference title. The Gamecocks defeated East Tennessee State in the FCS playoffs before falling to Maine in the second round.
“It’s just seemed like a big family out there,” said Luttrell. “Everybody cares about you and makes you feel real welcome. By far, [JSU] was the school that stuck with me throughout the whole recruiting process.”
Luttrell pointed to when Brian Mintz took over as head coach two games into the 2016 season as a tur-ning point for the Westbrook football program.
“Coach Mintz got us on the right weight program, and everyone got a lot stronger and more physical and played with more energy. Coach Mintz is a standup guy, and I love him. His nickname around the field house is “Pop,” and he’s like a second dad for us. He’s a great coach and a great man to look up to.”
Mintz is a former JSU quarterback who played for the Gamecocks from 1982 to 1985.
“I’m very proud today for Jackson. He’s going to be a part of a football tradition that I got to enjoy, and I’m excited that I’m going to get to see him play. Jackson worked real hard through the years, and he’s always takes his diet and his training very seriously. He’s been a joy to coach.”