Patricia Morrissette never doubted that the day would come when her youngest, son, Jamarcus, would sign his name to a football scholarship.
Even during the long summer of 2014 when the Chapel Hill running back was in the hospital fighting for his life, she kept the faith.
On Tuesday afternoon in the lobby of the school’s new gymnasium, Patricia Morrissette was posing for pictures and cutting cake after a brief signing celebration.
The younger Morrissette had early put his signature on a national letter of intent to play football for Div. II Mississippi College.
Although it is miles away from a more desirable Div. I scholarship, the Morrissettes were pleased.
“I’m just so happy that I can cry,” Patricia Morrissette said. “This really means a lot to see him get a college scholarship. He has overcame a lot of adversity in his life.”
After an all-state season as a sophomore, Morrissette was all posed for another stellar season. The senior tailback rushed for 1,560 yards as a sophomore, and had one of the best rushing games in school history that year.
In a 38-28 win over B.E.S.T. Academy, the 6-foot, 205-pounder showed his durability by rushing for 383 yards on 56 carries with four touchdowns.
But tragic struck as he was heading back to his house after visiting a friend. The car he was riding in with a classmate struck a tree on the passenger side, and suddenly not only was Morrissette’s football career in jeopardy, but more importantly he was fighting for his life.
After being airlifting to the trama center at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta, Morrissette was diagnosed with a brain trama, fracture eye and a concussion.
As he lay in the bed in the hospital for five days, Patricia was right by his side.
“You know I wasn’t going to leave my baby,” she said.
And Tuesday she was there to celebrate along with several teammates and classmates.
“It is an amazing story of perseverance by Jamarcus,” Chapel Hill coach Justin Deshon said. “He is a high character kid that does everything you ask of him. I just wish I could have had him for more than just five games.”
An ankle injury cost Morrissette half the season. He was still able to rush for 956 yards in five games.
“I’m happy with Mississippi College because they believed in me,” Jamarcus Morrissette said. “It is not a Div. I school but it is a chance to play football. I never stopped believe because God told me that it would work out. It was sort of frustrating that several schools backed out, but that can be my motivation.”
DeShon said the biggest thing during the long recruiting process was getting coaches to believe in Morrissette again.
He had some early interest but several schools back away because of the injuries. Through some connections with Mississippi College, which plays in the Gulf South Conference, DeShon was able to get the Choctaws coaching staff to take a serious look.
“We had to prove to folks that he was still a great running back,” DeShon said. “They had to believe in him again. They run that spread offense and Jamarcus should be a featured back. They value him, and I know he will do well.”