GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - It's been a banner year for coast football prospects so far, and the recognition continues to spotlight the 2017 class.
Gautier offensive lineman Paul Gainer was one of eight players from the coast to be selected to the Mississippi roster for the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game set for December 10 at noon in Montgomery, Alabama.
"It's a blessing," Gainer said. "That's nothing but God. I thank God every day for this."
"He always pushes himself and we make sure he understands that we've got to keep climbing the mountain," Gautier offensive line coach Marc High said. "We're nowhere near the top. We've got to keep climbing as a person and a player."
The Mississippi State commit joins one other region 4-5A player on the all-star roster -- Pascagoula defensive lineman James Jackson.
George County wide receiver Tyrese Fryfogle, Ocean Springs wide receiver Austin Williams and Harrison Central offensive lineman Jacob Shoemaker will represent region 4-6A, while region 8-4A will be a part of the festivities thanks to the St. Stanislaus duo of quarterback Myles Brennan and tight end Chase Rogers.
When asked about being considered one of the best players in the state, Gainer stayed true to his humble background.
"I'm all right, I'm just a regular human being from Gautier, Mississippi," Gainer said. "I don't try to think about it too much because I need to stay on track. I just try to stay focused, hit the books hard, the weight room and the field."
The 6'3", 280-pound senior currently plays left tackle but is expected to shift to either guard or center when he enrolls at Mississippi State.
His teammate on the offensive line, senior Justin Scott, was named to the Bernard-Blackwell All-Star Classic set for 11:30 a.m. December 17 in Gulfport.
"Whenever you go out there and ask them to do anything, they go out and get it," High said. "It's truly been a coach's dream. I've been able to coach a few guys that went Division 1 or have gone pro, and they're two of the ones that are really up there and have really been a blessing to coach."