A one-year wonder for the Palatka Panthers, Jay’Lyn Session hopes to be the same for California’s Delta Community College, then settle in for a few years at the highest level of college football.
The 2018 Putnam County Player of the Year signed last month with Delta, hoping to supercharge the offense of a Stockton team that was 0-10 last season. A year after being away from football for a disciplinary issue, Session was a sensation as a senior at Palatka High, running for 1,589 yards and 17 touchdowns to become the program’s first 1,000-yard rusher in 15 years.
He’s hoping for similar production at Delta, then transfer to a four-year school after one season.
“I felt like juco was the route and I liked the coach,” said Session, who twice broke the PHS single-game rushing record last year, most recently with 281 yards in a 66-65 loss at Menendez on Oct. 12. “They reached out to me. One of the coaches kept texting me every day. I believe I can help them a lot with everything I can do – finding the holes and hitting them.”
Session was verbally committed to NCAA Division II Valdosta State until its coach, former Gator football legend Kerwin Bell, became offensive coordinator at South Florida. PHS coach Willie Fells helped make the connection to Delta, whose defensive coordinator, Dante Marsh, played against Fells in the Canadian Football League.
“He and I saw each other at a coaches convention and it went from there. There were a few other coaches who saw film on (Session) at the same time and it became a bidding war,” Fells said. “This is a good school with a good environment. He’s getting an opportunity to continue playing the sport he loves and someone’s going to help pay for it.
“I have no doubt that he will go out and perform. Big things will come his way.”
A standout track athlete as well, Session ran the 100-meter dash in a fourth-place time of 10.80 in the class 2A state meet May 4 in Jacksonville. Clearly, his speed will be an asset in college football, but Session also hopes to impress coaches and teammates with his ability to block and to catch passes coming out of the backfield.
Session sent a signal to himself and others when he first broke the 25-year-old school record with a 271-yard game against Belleview Sept. 7.
“After I started breaking those records, I began to think I could play at the next level,” he said.
The 5-10, 165-pound Session hopes to bulk up for the college game.
“I just have to work harder and push myself past my limits,” he said.
Session hopes to study welding or engineering and credits the positive influence of his track coach and one of his teachers.
“Coach (Jarimy) Passmore was always there, no matter what,” he said. “I had a teacher Mrs. (Aeron) McNeill, who helped me get ready. She was always there.”