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ON TO THE NEXT: LaFayette seniors Trevor Vines and Jae’Lin McCurdy signed their letters of intent to Alcorn State University and Highland Community College on Wednesday morning. Photo by Rashad Milligan

LaFayette seniors Vines, McCurdy set eyes on college success

LaFAYETTE —LaFayette seniors Trevor Vines and Jae’Lin McCurdy have lofty plans for the future.

“I’m going to the league. I’ll tell you that,” Vines said. “I want y’all to remember this. I want you to write it in bold, too. I’m going to the league. When I make it, I’ve got my community. I have them covered.”

While the two student-athletes are excited to play at the next level, Vines at Alcorn State University and McCurdy at Highland Community College, LaFayette athletic director James Lucas is proud of the students for reasons that go beyond the field.

“I tell them all the time that three percent make it to the league,” Lucas said. “While God gave you that [scholarship] money, get yourself that education. That way, you’ll have something that will carry you through life. Even if you make it to the league, you can only play for so many years, but that education will carry you through life, and it will help other people get the same opportunities that you’re getting.”

McCurdy and Vines are well-aware of the importance of academics. McCurdy’s grades and test scores are already good enough to play Division I, and Vines said that he had to lock in to get the ACT score that he needed to accept a scholarship.

“I’d tell all the underclassmen that if they’re in ninth grade, they better get to work,” Vines said. “Once you hit your junior year, it’s so hard to pull that GPA up. You have to work like a dog to pull your GPA up. That’s what I had to do my junior and senior year, and now I finally got to where I want to be.”

Both Vines and McCurdy’s families showed up to the auditorium at LaFayette High School color-coordinated representing the schools that both students signed to attend.

“It feels great,” McCurdy said. “Now that I’ve made my decision, I can really just sit down and focus. I don’t really have to worry about what school I’m going to go to, I finally know now and I can get to work.”

McCurdy is leaving to live outside of the state of Alabama for the first time in his life when he arrives at Highland Community College in Kansas. He has embraced going the junior college route for the opportunity to play Division I football soon, wearing a Highland jacket to match his signing day hat.

“I’m ready to get down there to compete and start winning some games,” he said. “I have to focus on the school I’m at right then and try to win games there. I feel like if I do that, then the offers will come. I just need to focus on what I do and play football.”

An all-state selection, Vines has carried a chip on his shoulder due to his lack of stars and being ranked among other top high school prospects.

“You can look me up, I don’t have anything beside my name,” Vines said. “Some players, based off their height and weight, will get three stars. That’s not how it should be. It should be how you play on the field and your film. I like being the underdog because everybody always sleeps on you, but Alcorn got themselves a great player.”

This past season, McCurdy threw for 1,201 yards while completing 95-of-204 attempts for 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. McCurdy was also the team’s third-leading rusher, gaining 625 yards on the ground on 91 attempts for 10 touchdowns. Vines led the team with 113 tackles while recovering three fumbles, forcing two fumbles and a sack in 2018.

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