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Five Southwest standouts sign sr. college scholarships

SUMMIT – Five Southwest Mississippi Community College footballplayers signed letters-of-intent with four-year colleges anduniversities on Wednesday. They include defensive backs ReginaldReese, Don Gibson, Carlos Thompson Clifton Collins and offensivelineman Jamie Jackson, as the signing period for community collegesbegan.

“We lost some outstanding athletes from our secondary,” saidSouthwest head coach Ken Edenfield, whose Bears finished the season9-3 and state playoff runners-up, their best finish since 1958. “Wealso lost one of our top offensive linemen in Jamie Jackson, butthey will fit right in at their respective universities.”

Reginald Reese, (5-11, 190) a strong safety from South Pike inMagnolia, and Don Gibson, (5-9, 185) cornerback from Amite CountyHigh, inked with The University of Tulsa.

“Reginald played everything in the secondary, ” said Edenfield.”We moved him around a lot because he was a good tackler and he canplay either safety or corner position. Don (Gibson) is veryathletic, one of the most athletic players on our team. He could’veplayed tailback for us, but we’ve always stressed defense here andhe and Reginald made a perfect fit for our secondary.”

“Jamie has started for us both years and wanted to stay close tohome,” said Edenfield. “Because of that he chose Nicholls StateUniversity. He has the opportunity to fight for a starting positionwhen spring drills begin. He’s very strong physically and withNicholls State running a lot of option, he should fit in quite wellat either guard or tackle position. They needed some immediate helpand he has a chance to jump right in the mix.”

Jackson seemed happy with his choice of Nicholls State.

“They needed some help on the offensive line, and I knew I couldcome in play,”said Jackson. “There have also been a number ofMcComb players who went to school there and they helped in mydecision making.”

Reese and Gibson were both excited about their chances atTulsa.

“We both liked the coaching staff and the university as awhole,” said Reese. “We get to travel to such far away places asHawaii and California. They are also very academic and that was oneof the factors in our choice. It should be a good fit.”

Thompson said that UCF was his only choice.

“I was recruited by such schools as Maryland and Syracuse,” saidThompson. “When I took my visit to Orlando, I was hooked. The wholeatmosphere and the campus itself really fit what I was looking for.We also open up with Clemson, and the idea of playing in front of80,000 people was exciting.”

“Carlos weighed only 140 pounds out of high school and had nocollege offers,” said Edenfield. “He eventually joined the Marinesand spent four years there before returning to school. We werelooking for a free safety last year and Carlos filled the bill. Welost both corners in 1999 to Southern Mississippi and WesternCarolina and Carlos moved in and fit what we were looking for.

“He’s good academically, as are all these guys, and was verymature after his stint in the Marines. He was a very good teamleader.”

Clifton Collins, (6-2, 205) free safety from Amite County,signed with Ole Miss where he will join brother Chris Collins, afreshman wide receiver.

“Clifton played quarterback at Amite County and was recruited bya lot of a schools before he arrived here on campus,” saidEdenfield. “We felt like the move to free safety was more suitedfor him. The chance to join his brother and an SEC scholarship ishard to turn down. He’s got speed and breaks on the ball real well.He has a chance to contribute.”

The thought of reuniting with brother Chris was very appealingto Collins.

“We played together in high school and I like the idea ofteaming up with him again,” said Collins. “He can show me theropes. The fact that he’s my brother and we’ll be togetherhelps.”