Jack Abraham, John Rhys Plumlee and the QB relationships between Oxford and Oak Grove
Jack Abraham had three straight shots at a state title as a Charger, and he openly admits it was frustrating to never come through.
But when Oxford goes for their first state championship in program history, the Southern Miss starting quarterback will be right there as the Chargers take on Oak Grove in his home stadium.
Abraham’s last season with Oxford football was 2015. He never played with anyone on this Chargers team, but says he knows a few of them – particularly JJ Pegues and John Meagher – pretty well. Oxford head coach Chris Cutcliffe wasn’t the head coach when Abraham was here, but he was an offensive assistant who worked pretty closely with Abraham.
“I grew up with, and obviously played with Connor (Meagher, John’s brother), so I’m pretty close to the Meagher family,” Abraham said. “I’m still pretty close with (Cutcliffe) and a couple of other guys just from playing and being around Oxford. It’s pretty cool to watch the success they’re having right now.”
Over summer 2019, Abraham worked with John Meagher going into his senior year to help him become a better passer. They worked on Meagher’s throwing mechanics and some of the more technical aspects of the position that Abraham has improved on himself since leaving Oxford.
This year, his redshirt junior season, Abraham completed 67.5 percent of his throws, good for No. 16 nationally, and was a finalist for the 2019 Conerly Trophy, which was won by Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill. Meanwhile, Meagher is having his most efficient passing season ever, completing 57.1 percent of his throws with a career-high seven yards per attempt.
Abraham said he hasn’t seen or spoken to many guys on the team since they won the North-half game over Starkville. Yet, the team is planning on staying in Hattiesburg on Thursday night and he plans on seeing and talking to the team a big before their big game Friday evening.
In a unique storyline, Abraham isn’t the only big-name former quarterback in the Oxford vs. Oak Grove matchup Friday evening. Abraham went to Oxford High and now quarterbacks at Southern Miss. Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee grew up in Hattiesburg, and graduated from Oak Grove.
The two quarterbacks met for the first time this week, at the Conerly Trophy presentation.
“It’s a pretty cool coincidence. We joked about it last night at the Conerly trophy ceremony,” Abraham said. “We were kind of jawing back and forth, messing with each other about it and having a little fun. He’s going to be there Friday, too, so we’ll probably catch up again there.”
Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey laughed when asked about Plumlee and Abraham in reference to Oak Grove and Oxford, saying he hadn’t thought about that storyline at all. Plumlee’s high school coach said he’s gotten to see his former quarterback a decent bit this year, and has gotten to know Abraham just by him playing at Southern Miss in his own backyard.
There’s some pretty good quarterback history at both schools.
“Man, I haven’t thought about that. That’s pretty interesting,” Causey said. “Luckily enough, I’ve gotten to go see John Rhys play a few times this year. He’s unbelievable. And with Jack playing right there at Southern, I’ve gotten to see him play quite a bit, too. There’s some history of really good quarterbacks at both schools.”
Ultimately, Friday night will be a chance for Oxford High to complete the circle, to finish off something Abraham tried three times to do and came up just short.
You can tell it in Abraham’s voice – he’s not jealous, he’s not bitter. He truly just wants his Chargers to pull off the victory in his home stadium on Friday night.
“Seriously, it’s awesome. Moving up to 6A and having the success they’re having, that’s a big deal,” Abraham said. “Coach Cutcliffe’s done an awesome job, and I’m definitely going to be there Friday cheering them on. It’s time to get that first state championship.”