Yarborough looks forward to season at SE Louisiana

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2009

Simmie Yarborough of Brookhaven has a lot of things going forhim at Southeastern Louisiana University. Voted All-SouthlandConference Freshman of the Year in 2008, Yarborough’s sure handsand breakaway speed made him a primary target as a wide receiver inSEL’s passing attack.

Yarborough (6-1, 195) has earned early recognition on the 2009Preseason All-Southland Conference squad. He joins two SELteammates on the Dream Team in senior defensive back Tommy Connorsand senior placekicker Jeff Turner.

Yarborough hopes to duplicate and surpass last year’sperformance when he caught 51 passes for 490 yards and sixtouchdowns in 11 games. His reception total represented the fourthhighest single-season total in school history. His TD total was thesixth highest by a Lion.

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Yarborough and the Lions make their 2009 debut Sept. 5, inHammond, when they host Texas A&M- Commerce in StrawberryStadium.

Connors, a Marrero product, is a consensus preseason All-Americaselection on the Division I Football Championship Subdivision, hasbeen nominated for the Buck Buchanan Award, presented to the topdefensive player. As a junior, Connors accounted for 108 tacklesand four interceptions to lead the Southland Conference.

Turner, from Houston, Texas; is one of the premier kickers inthe FCS. He hit 12 of 17 field goal attempts last season.

SEL head coach Mike Lucas hopes to improve on last year’s 5-7worksheet. He will bring the Lions to Ole Miss and play the RebelsSept. 19.

After four years at Northwestern (La.) State University,Brookhaven’s Darius Perkins appears to have finally found his nichewith the Demons. Perkins is working at center in the Demons’offense.

A standout in football and baseball at Ole Brook, Perkins hadthe unique distinction of starring on two Class 4A statechampionship teams in 2004. The Panthers captured the diamond titlein the spring and the gridiron crown in December, earning him twochampionship rings.

Perkins appeared to have a promising collegiate career in bothsports but he cast his future with football. Redshirted in 2005,Perkins saw limited action in 2006 as a defensive end. He alsoworked at tight end in 2007. He saw no action in 2008 but continuedworking towards his college degree.

A coaching change after last season brought LSU defensivecoordinator Bradley Dale Peveto to the Natchitoches campus,replacing Scott Stoker. Peveto (pronounced PEA-vit-toe), completedhis duties as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at LSUwhen the Tigers devoured Georgia Tech 38-3 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowlin Atlanta.

Peaveto, highly regarded as a recruiter and known for aggressivedefense, has Demon fans thinking Southland Conference championshipsagain. He served on the Demons’ staff when NSU won the Southlandtitle in 1997 and 1998, under Sam Goodwin, the school’s winningesthead coach.

Peaveto was defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State andHouston. He has been part of coaching staffs at Arkansas, SouthernMiss, Stephen F. Austin and Trinity Valley Community College. TheOrangefield, Texas, native played in four bowls from 1983-1986 atSouthern Methodist University where he was a safety, special teamsstar and team captain as the Mustangs went 43-14.

That state championship BHS football team of 2004 has anothermember still active at the collegiate level. Running back RonnyMcNulty is expected to be wearing the green and white of DeltaState University this fall after 2 good seasons at Copiah-LincolnCommunity College.

McNulty will join former Wesson and Co-Lin quarterback MicahDavis on the DSU roster.

Another BHS connection, defensive tackle Jessie Bowman, had a1-day tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles last Friday. He’s on thewaiting list and the immediate future depends on the number ofEagle injuries in preseason camp.

Bowman enjoyed 2 good years at Co-Lin before transferring toMississippi State University where he played for Sylvester Croom.Bowman suffered a season-ending injury last October against Alabamaand has been rehabbing the torn quadriceps muscle in his leg sincethen. He appears to be at full speed again.

Speaking of Mississippi State, new head coach Dan Mullen hasthree area players on the roster. They are redshirt sophomoresDamein Anderson of Hazlehurst at cornerback and Mike Hunt ofFranklin County at linebacker and redshirt junior offensive tacklePhillip Freeman of Wesson (Co-Lin).

At Southern Miss, true freshmen Kendrick Hardy of LawrenceCounty at running back, and Franklin County products Jamie Collinsat safety and Alex Smith at linebacker are hoping to see some PT(playing time) this season. Of course, there’s nothing wrong withbeing redshirted.

Franklin County is represented at Ole Miss by senior defensiveend Marcus Tillman, a standout on the field and in theclassroom.

Football players are supposed to be in college to further theireducation and obtain a degree.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602, or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com