Just a few years ago this star quarterback nearly lost everything stemming from a decision that resulted in him spending time behind bars. His reputation was sullied. His football future was in doubt.
Not many wanted to take a chance on this reclamation project. This gunslinger was labeled by many as a murder by those unfamiliar with the circumstances surrounding the incident.
After a breakout season in 2010 in a completely different environment, the signal caller has been praised as a hero, role model and the ultimate comeback story.
That quarterback is not Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, who spent two years in prison on dog fighting charges. That quarterback is Jackson State’s Casey Therriault.
I’m not going to rehash Therriault’s tale of “redemption. I’ve written about it enough. The local papers in Jackson have written about it enough. But ESPN is not tired of the story.
An ESPN production crew was recently spotted in Jackson filming for the programs E:60 and College Gameday spots scheduled to air this fall.
Last year, the lovely and talented Jemele Hill wrote a piece about Therriault entitled the “White Tiger” or the “Blue-Eyed Soul Brother” if you nasty.
A similar title was used for the early 1980s screen production “Grambling’s White Tiger”, a true story about Grambling quarterback Jim Gregory, played by Kim Kardashian’s step dad Bruce Jenner.
In case you were wondering, Harry Belefonte portrayed the great Eddie Robinson.
Then college football savant Pat Forde also got into act by doing his own little story about Therriault.
The media loves to exploit race, human failure, success, controversy and redemption. The second year starter provides all those factors. Throw an HBCU in the mix, and it makes for a real ratings and promotion grab.
I think it is time for us to prepare for Therriault being the Tim Tebow of the SWAC.
Soon, there will be a bust of the quarterback featuring inspirational quotes outside of Jackson State’s athletic facilities.
Dads, church leaders and community activists will be demanding their sons, local teenage boys and ex-offenders pattern themselves after No. 11.
Once the ESPN marketing machine gets a hold of Tebow 2.0, Jackson State and the SWAC will be known for more than halftime shows, off-the-field scandals and the Bayou Classic.
And we can all thank Therriault for being thrown in jail following a fight outside a bar that resulted in the death of a drunk patron then performing well as a white quarterback at a black school.
How could the conference not capitalize off the second most famous Casey in the land?