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Talented players join Co-Lin football team

National Signing Day dawned clear and sunny Wednesday. While OleMiss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss battled nationalpowerhouses for 5-star athletes, Copiah-Lincoln Community Collegewas quietly signing nearly 20 solid prospects for the 2007 footballseason.

At Brookhaven High School’s athletic department, defensive endLarry Winters and punter/placekicker Will Thibodeaux signedscholarships with the Co-Lin Wolfpack. It was a great day forCo-Lin in Wesson’s library as four players signed with the Pack andposed for pictures.

Wesson quarterback Micah Davis will join his father, Co-Lin headcoach Glenn Davis. Also inking with the Pack were defensive backDaniel Watson, and offensive linemen John Knight and Timothy(Bubba) Thompson. Another Wesson senior, Will Turnbo, announced hisplans to sign with NCAA Division II Panhandle State (Okla.),University, following in his father’s footsteps.

At Lawrence County, offensive lineman Nick Jackson put hissignature on the Co-Lin scholarship papers. Teammate Jake Thamessigned a pact with Southern Miss.

Meanwhile, in Meadville, 8 players off the 2006 Class 3A statechampionship Bulldog squad signed scholarships. Linebacker GaryRogers, offensive lineman Alvin Hunt, cornerback Greg Hunt, andlinebacker/running back Preston Griffith all signed withCo-Lin.

Franklin County safety Mike Hunt sealed his early commitment bysigning with Mississippi State. Defensive end Brandon Collins andguard/linebacker Cable McMinn joined East Mississippi CommunityCollege. Offensive lineman Kane Carlock signed with MississippiGulf Coast Community College.

At Hazlehurst, all-state defensive end Jazzmen Guy, running backBobby Hall signed with Co-Lin.

At Natchez, running back/defensive back Latarus Frazier andquarterback Jason Bruce joined Co-Lin. At Magee, defensive backAndrew Magee and long snapper Daniel Herrington joined thePack.

At Mendenhall, quarterback James Walker, defensive back WillieHobbs, running back Bertrell Easterling, running back Willie Bassand linebacker Jeremy McGee have signed.

At Fayette, Jefferson County receivers Hakie Reed and JosephKemp joined Co-Lin. From Jackson Jim Hill comes linebacker JamaalBankston. Another offensive lineman is Ian Burnett of DesotoCentral. Near Laurel, linebackers Larry Ducksworth and JarronMcCormick of South Jones are in Co-Lin’s fold. Offensive linemanChris Payne of Warren Central is another signee.

For sure, Davis has lots of holes to fill on his Co-Lin squadthat finished state runner-up and won the Golden Isles BowlClassic. That exceptional team finished 9-3 and ranked No. 6 in theNJCAA’s final poll.

The entire offensive backfield must be replaced, plus threeslots in the offensive line and a herd of defensive standouts.Davis said he felt good about the quarterback situation. Walker,Bruce and Davis are talented signal callers. They are the firstthree district quarterbacks signed by Co-Lin in the three yearsDavis has been at the helm.

“I feel like we can win with any of those three,” said CoachDavis. “We have to surround them with more skill players.”

Obviously, Davis was happy and proud to have his son join him atCo-Lin. “I’m excited about Micah coming to Co-Lin. He had someother choices. Co-Lin is a good place for him to play his way up toa higher level.”

For the exceptional athlete, Co-Lin certainly isn’t the end ofhis football career. Senior colleges are hungry for Juco playerswho can give them a quick-fix at key positions.

Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey said Winters and Thibodeauxwould be an asset to Co-Lin’s program. “Larry is very athletic fora guy his size (6-2, 225). Will is consistent and very hardworking. I don’t think he has reached his potential yet.”

Wesson coach Tommy Clopton praised the accomplishments of hisquintet. “It’s unusual for five players to sign scholarships out ofa 2A school. That says a lot about our kids and this school.

“Watching five of them walk out the door of this library makesme realize how much they mean to our program,” Clopton continued.”They are leaders, too. They’ll leave a large void to fill.”

Hopefully, area high schools will continue producing talentedfootball players. That’s a good omen for the respective programsand a plus for Co-Lin recruiting.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com