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Peyton’s passing drawing attention

PERKINGSTON, MS – Quarterbacks like to throw the football.

Saturday, October 21, 2000

PERKINGSTON, MS – Quarterbacks like to throw the football. Jimmy Peyton is a quarterback.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College likes quarterbacks to throw the ball. Jimmy Peyton plays quarterback at the school.

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Peyton, the former All-Ohio quarterback for the Ironton Fighting Tigers, is now the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs and he is in love with the run-and-shoot offense.

In the past two games, Peyton has thrown for more than 500 yards in an offense that is averaging 35 points a game.

"It’s a whole lot of fun," Peyton said. "Our offense is unique. It’s a lot like Florida. It’s all three steps, or it’s a pump fake and let it fly. The receivers read the coverage and I read it, and then we take it from there. I call a lot of my own plays."

Making Peyton’s job easier is the wide receivers. Two have already committed to Miami, Fla., and another to South Carolina. A fourth receiver is expected to attend Mississippi.

Peyton’s performances also have drawn the attention of several Division I colleges including Houston and Pittsburgh. Several college scouts expect Peyton to be the No. 1 rated quarterback coming out of the junior college ranks next season.

"Houston has already offered me, and Pitt has been talking to me hard. I’d like to go somewhere back up north," Peyton said.

While the offense is performing well, the defense has struggled which is why the Bulldogs are only 3-4. In one game this season, Peyton led the offense to 39 points, but the defense allowed 72.

Even though the Gulf Coast defense hasn’t been strong, the opposing defenses have been a different story. Peyton said it’s been quite a painful education.

"The main difference at this level compared to high school is the defenses. You get hit more often and it hurts just a little bit more," Peyton said with a chuckle. "We played against two defensive ends who are going to Florida State. They were pretty good."

But Peyton has improved his game in just one season.

"My feet are a whole lot better, and I’m throwing the ball quicker. I don’t look like the same person playing quarterback," Peyton said. "In high school, I had a tendency to hold the ball longer. But teams play a lot of zone and you just try and find a widow and hit the man as quick as you can."