Throughout his high school career, Central-Phenix City runner Quandaveus “Que” Gilliam made a habit of wowing every time he stepped onto the track. Thanks to that success, Gilliam has found a home at the next level.
Gilliam announced his commitment to Jackson State on Sunday. Gilliam will join the Tigers’ track team and plans to run the 400- and 800-meter races as well as the 400 hurdles.
“It was a feeling of relief and happiness all in one time. I was relieved that I had chosen a college and that I could focus on other things. Also, I was happy when many people from Jackson congratulated me and I was told that they will help look after me and that I will be able to compete at the next level,” Gilliam said. “The vibe of the school and team just was so unreal, and how they are a family. Also, Jackson’s coaching staff is one the best coaching staff in the SWAC. I think they could help me become a better athlete.”
Gilliam chose Jackson State over Alabama, South Florida, Alabama-Huntsville and South Carolina State. In addition to his relationship with the coaching staff, Gilliam pointed out he got an out-of-state waiver for financial purposes and also got considerable help with the scholarship money that Jackson State was able to offer.
Given Gilliam’s skill, it’s hard to argue the Tigers aren’t making a sound investment.
Gilliam was stellar during his amateur career both as a Red Devil and with the Tri-City Striders, an AAU track team based out of Phenix City. He not only won a Class 7A state championship while at Central, but he earned All-American status with the Striders after his performance at the AAU National Club Championship meet in Kissimmee, Fla., last summer.
Along with his excellent athletic ability, Gilliam was also Central’s senior class president and was named homecoming king.
“He was a leader for the team, number one. With his attitude, the kids followed him and believed in him because they saw how hard he worked. He was the type kid that encouraged others, but he pushed them at the same time to be the best that they could be,” Central track coach Charles Fortune said. “He’s the type of kid who doesn’t mind working. He’s got the right attitude for being an athlete. He realizes the more he works or the harder he works, the better he’s going to get.
“They’re getting somebody that I think will be able to help their program in his first year. The biggest thing is being able to understand the transition from high school to college.”
Gilliam has a bright future ahead, and he said he’s most looking forward to Jackson State’s campus life and being part of the track and field team. Even though he’s got a long track career ahead, he was sure not to forget his time at Central and the people who helped him accomplish this major goal.
“(Being at Central) prepared me for a lot. I’ve been running varsity track since eighth grade, and my coaches pushed me every day to be the great athlete I am today,” Gilliam said. “It meant a lot being a Red Devil. Being a Red Devil is something everyone wants to be. We show heart, greatness and many other things.”