November 4, 2008

Hutchins talks about his commitment

With two seniors departing in the kicking department and one greyshirt coming in, the Mississippi State Bulldogs solidified their punting situation for next season.

The Bulldogs landed the top junior college punter in the country in Itawamba sophomore Heath Hutchins last week.

"(Mississippi State) actually came along with Southern Miss and a few other schools to watch us play one game," Hutchins said. "They all just kind of talked to me after the game. I guess they all heard about me because before that nobody had ever heard of me. They all came to watch Pernell (McPhee) but they ended up seeing me. After that, all these schools started calling me because word got out and spread like wildfire."

Hutchins led the MACJC this past season with a 46.1-yard average booting a long of 69 yards. The 6-3, 215-pounder punted 42 times for the Indians for 1,933 yards and was named All-State.

Hutchins also took over the kicking duties for Itawamba (3-6) four games into the season and only missed one field goal the rest of the season.

"I never kicked in high school and I didn't start kicking until about four games into this season," Hutchins said. "Our kicker started off pretty bad and we lost a game because of him. I got fed up with it and I just started practicing on a Sunday and by Tuesday I was kicking 50-yard field goals. The coach saw me kicking and I kicked the rest of the season. I ended up doing good. I missed my very first field goal but came back and made the rest and made all my extra points. It was just one of those things they needed me to do so I just stepped up and did it."

Hutchins said the Bulldogs were just bringing him in to punt and have not mentioned kicking to him.

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