Jaevon McQuitty had a lot of notables on his scouting report coming out of high school.
The four-star recruit turned Big Ten wideout was considered the top high school player in Missouri by many. He was also considered royalty by his peers.
While remembered for many things at Battle, the Nebraska receiver won Homecoming King his senior season.
“That was pretty cool,” McQuitty said of his crowning in 2016. “I really didn’t expect to win because there were some baseball guys up for it.
“And all the girls love baseball, you know what I mean?,” he added.
Current Spartans Tavian Miller, Connor May and Harrison Keller all joined McQuitty on Friday as Battle football players who were a part of the homecoming court. However, none of them joined McQuitty in winning the title of king at halftime of the Spartans’ 67-37 win over Hickman.
Flash back to the 2016 season and McQuitty remembers his homecoming experience vividly. He recalls he and his partner on homecoming court, Sydnee Anderson, working extra hard on posters, speaking at a homecoming pep rally and finally having a chance to see his high school’s band perform at halftime for the first time.
“It was pretty surreal, the typical high school stuff,” McQuitty said. “I felt like I was in a movie.”
The homecoming king did have to skip out on the homecoming dance the following Saturday, as he had an official visit scheduled to Nebraska. McQuitty, who graduated three years prior to Battle’s current crop of seniors, is in his third year in Lincoln, and he’s faced some adversity.
The wideout was set to play at Nebraska as a true freshman, but was forced to redshirt after sustaining an injury in fall camp.
“I feel like I’ve matured, oh man, like I’ve matured a lot,” McQuitty said. “I just think back to certain situations and how I would’ve handled it when I was still in high school versus now and a lot of it is way different.”
Since then, the redshirt sophomore has worked to get back on his feet. Despite appearing in six games as a redshirt freshman, he didn’t record his first catch until this year, a six-yard catch in Nebraska’s season-opener against Southern Alabama.
“I’ve kind of turned into a man,” McQuitty said of his time at Nebraska.
His ability to deal with adversity in Lincoln five hours from home was rooted in what McQuitty learned at Battle. He said his time as a Spartan taught him how to live in the moment, as well as how to be himself. He also learned a lot on the field.
“Because I had three head coaches,” McQuitty said.
The wideout credited three men, all current mid-Missouri high school head coaches: Attiyah Ellison, Cedric Alvis and Justin Conyers. Each was at Battle during his time as a Spartan.
He said those three taught him that “even though you’re working hard, you’re really not working hard.”
“I had three men on my butt all the time (asking) about, ‘(Are) you really doing what you need to be doing?,’” McQuitty said. “They just wanted me to work the hardest I could.”