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Perkins plots football future after recruiting visits

Fred Perkins is enjoying the recruitingprocess. The talented Brookhaven High School football player hasmade three campus visits and plans another before reaching adecision about his college future.

No, he hasn’t grown tired of the redundant questions.

“Have you decided where you are going to school next fall?”

“Who are you going to sign with?”

“What schools are you leaning toward?”

“How was your visit to LSU?”

“Did you like Southern Miss?”

“What position did they say you would play at MississippiState?”

For the unknowing reader, Perkins piloted the BrookhavenPanthers to a 7-3 record his senior season, playing a completelynew position of quarterback. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, he is apowerful, outstanding athlete with breakaway speed.

Perkins, regarded as one of the Top Ten prospects inMississippi, played tight end and wide receiver his junior andsenior years. A southpaw, he only threw one TD pass this season. Herushed for nearly 900 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as an optionquarterback. He returned a kickoff 85 yards for a TD.

To his credit, Perkins made a remarkable adjustment, learningthe intricacies of quarterback and a new offense. To the delight ofthe BHS coaching staff, players and fans, Perkins exceeded allexpectations. He was recognized as The Daily Leader’s Player ofthe Year on the 2000 All-Lincoln County Team.

“I haven’t got tired of the recruiting process,” saidPerkins. “I liked my visit to LSU a lot.”

Glenn Davis, Mississippi State offensivebackfield coach, was in Brookhaven Tuesday, talking to Perkins andpromoting the MSU Bulldogs. Davis said Perkins could play a slotback in the MSU scheme.

Perkins also is being recruited as a defensive back. In thestate playoff game versus Gautier, he made 18 tackles.

There is the matter of baseball, too. Perkins is anexcellent outfielder and he swings a mean bat. He wouldn’t mindplaying both sports in college. If you are familiar with collegiateathletics, it would be a difficult task devoting the requiredamount of time to both sports.

Keith Case, Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege baseball coach, recently met with Perkins and his father todiscuss the opportunities at Co-Lin. Case said he was impressed bythe maturity and sincerity displayed by Perkins during theinterview.

The national signing date is right around the corner. Prizedhigh school prospects will sign their name on the line Wednesday,Feb. 7.

Major changes are in the works at Brookhaven Academy. Headfootball coach Doug Clanton has resigned hisposition in favor of greener pastures. He produced back-to-back 6-5records and that’s a major accomplishment for the BACougars.

Clanton has been coaching for almost 30 years. Obviously,the man knows his football. He was a top candidate for the WestLincoln job until former Loyd Star coach Roe Burnsdecided to come out of a brief retirement.

Brookhaven Academy school board president Ken Powellsaid Clanton did a commendable job with the Cougars. “He has done agood job building our program. He is leaving a good foundation forthe next coach. We wish him well in the future.”

Powell said a search committee has been formed tofind a new coach.

Clanton, a Franklin County native, has several jobopportunities. David Gregory, Copiah Academy head coach for fiveyears, has resigned. Gregory coached Central Hinds Academy to astate championship but was unable to maintain the magic when hebegan coaching the Gallman-based Colonels.

To say the least, the Colonels have struggled through manyfutile seasons under a number of different head coaches. There aresome good young players coming up but the Colonels have a difficulttime competing in Class AAA despite the school’s largeenrollment.

In another matter, BA is searching for a new headmaster.John Gray will relinquish that position after the2001-02 school year. The board wants Gray to guide the newheadmaster through a transition year. Gray would continue to servethe school as the head of a trust foundation.

“We didn’t want Mr. Gray to walk out with 26-27 years ofexperience and have someone come in with no experience,” saidPowell. “Mr. Gray has a great knowledge of administration andacademics.”