FVSU's Quarterback Excels On And Off The Field

Posted on Dec 13, 2019

FORT VALLEY, Ga. – One's road traveled is not usually without its pitfalls and obstacles. Earlier this year, Fort Valley State University football standout Slade Jarman successfully directed the Wildcats football offense to a championship before suffering a pair of tough season-ending injuries. On Saturday, he'll complete his final challenge when he walks across the stage as a graduate during Saturday's commencement.

"I came to FVSU to play football and get my degree," said the Pensacola, Fla. native who has excelled during the past three years in his role as an athlete, role model and leader.

Jarman said he was motivated to be successful by his supporting cast, including his father and stepmother, Robert and Shawna Jarman, his girlfriend, KeAuja Johnson, his campus advisor, Dr. Pitts, and the entire FVSU football coaching staff and his teammates.

The Wildcats team support has been easy to give with a player and leader of Jarman's caliber. The quarterback led FVSU to a 12-9 overall record and a 12-6 mark against NCAA Division II foes in his 21 career starts. He totaled 4,413 passing yards on 352 completions of 589 attempts for a 60% completion percentage and 35 touchdown strikes in his career.

Jarman's journey started during the summer of 2017. The veteran signal-caller was one of the offensive team leaders who helped the Wildcats capture the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division crown and host the SIAC Championship game, which Tuskegee edged out the win. Jarman was named All-SIAC Second Team and SIAC Newcomer of the Year, where he passed for 1,678 yards on 125 completed passes with 14 touchdowns.

After a more than solid opening year, Jarman's path turned a bit bumpy early in the 2018 fall season. While leading the Wildcats to a comeback road win over the Golden Bears of Miles College, Jarman was hurting from an early game hit. Following his final-minute touchdown pass to win the game, the savvy quarterback learned it would be his final game of the season due to an abdominal injury. He left the playing field with FVSU holding a 1-2 record in what would be a tough 2-8 campaign. During those first three contests, he had claimed 636 yards with three touchdowns.

Jarman watched the rest of the 2018 season on the sideline as he had his challenge in front of him of overcoming his injury. He made it his stated goal to come back stronger for 2019 and lead the Wildcats to a second SIAC Eastern Division title.

Jarman took advantage of the NCAA, giving him a fifth year of eligibility due to the injury in the best shape of his playing career.

The 2019 FVSU campaign started off slow with a late defeat to eventual SIAC champion and NCAA playoff team Miles College and NCAA Division I Florida A&M. On Week 3 and an early "˜Senior Day' at Wildcat Stadium, Jarman and the Wildcats started their longest winning streak in over a decade with the win over Shorter University. FVSU added victories over Benedict College, at Florida Tech, at Central State and Morehouse College where Jarman excelled with a BOXTOROW National Player of the Week award and three-straight SIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors to spearhead the team's success. His top-notch performances included a 391-yard and 6-touchdown day against Benedict and 386 passing yards with five total touchdowns at Central State to highlight those five weeks.

After completing his 12th pass in 12 attempts on the first play of the second half at Clark Atlanta, Jarman's quarterback run through the line for a short gain on the next play would, unfortunately, be his final play. The senior suffered his second season-ending injury in what would turn out to be the Wildcats' final win of the season in Week 8. He left being 12-for-12 for 220 yards and one passing touchdown and a rushing score.

Even though his season ended two games early, Jarman's outstanding final season did not go unnoticed. The FVSU quarterback not only led the team to the most wins since 2014, but he earned the SIAC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards. The All-SIAC First Team player ranked within NCAA Division II's Top 15 in eight different offensive categories. Jarman was tops in the Conference in passing yards per game (262.2 yds/gm) and set his personal best numbers of 174 completions in 281 attempts for 2,099 yards with 18 touchdowns to five interceptions for a 61.9-percent and a 142.25 pass efficiency rating. Jarman also scampered 74 times for 123 yards on the ground with another six touchdowns.

With mending off the field taking place the rest of this fall following the injury, the Liberal Studies major is set to complete his collegiate classroom career as well with the wearing of the other Wildcats uniform – the cap and gown. Just like the gridiron, the upcoming graduate was an example off the field as well as he earned a 3.0 overall GPA.

Jarman passes along this wisdom to his younger Wildcats within his major and on the football team, "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something as you can achieve whatever you want in life if you work for it."

Jarman plans to continue his hard work by returning home to the Pensacola area and opening a business.

"I feel FVSU has prepared me to be successful for the future," he said.

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