Jesse Cochran of Ridgeland High School enrolled at Tennessee Temple University this semester to join the school's first track and field team this spring.
Cochran completed high school graduation requirements on Jan. 24.
He ran track for only one year at Ridgeland, competing in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and the 1,650 run with occasional participation in the 4x100 relay. He previously had run cross country, and he played football as a Ridgeland freshman. Cochran planned to join the Army upon early graduation but then got the scholarship offer and changed his mind.
"I like the idea of running track in college, and one of the things that drew me to Temple was that my girlfriend's mother graduated from there," he said. "And I like the idea of a Christian environment."
He said his grade point average was near 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
"We are excited to be able to add more local kids to our team as we are working hard to build a winning program," Temple coach Emmanuel Awotula said, noting that the 110 hurdles and the metric mile are among the events he envisions for Cochran.