Co-Lin football recruiting haul includes some top area talent

Published 5:13 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

Longtime Copiah-Lincoln CC head football coach Glenn Davis and his staff put together a strong 2023 signing class on Wednesday that includes some standouts from schools around the area.

At Brookhaven Academy, senior wide receiver Trevor Fortenberry inked his letter-of-intent to join the Wolf Pack in ceremony held in John R. Gray Gymnasium.

At Wesson High, senior quarterback Will Loy signed with Co-Lin in the school’s gymnasium that’s located just a few streets over from the college’s campus.

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At Brookhaven High School, the auditorium stage was filled with friends and family of two Co-Lin signees, senior linebacker Malachi Williams and senior offensive lineman Landon Smith.

Trevor Fortenberry

Fortenberry is the second member of his family to sign with CLCC in the last two years as his older brother Tyler was a freshman on the team last season.

As a senior for coach Anthony Hart, Fortenberry caught 47 passes for 933 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2022. A versatile leader for the Cougars, he also rushed for 11 touchdowns during his senior season.

A three-sport standout who also plays basketball and baseball, Fortenberry was picked for the MAIS All-Star game in both football and hoops.

“Trevor has a work ethic that sets him apart from a lot of kids his age,” said Hart. “He goes above and beyond of what’s asked of him. On the field, he’s a guy that just knows how to make plays. I really think he’s going to be able to carry that over to his time at Co-Lin.”

Will Loy

Loy is the reigning Daily Leader All-Area MVP and will join a Co-Lin program that already feels like home for the homegrown signal caller.

In 2022, Loy passed for 2,764 yards and 29 touchdowns in leading Wesson to the third round of the MHSAA 3A Playoffs. A four-year starter at the position, he was named as the MAC 3A Offensive Player of the Year after his senior season.

Loy finished his career with just under 10,000 combined passing yards and 112 passing touchdowns.

Also, a standout in the classroom, Loy boasts a 33 on the ACT.

Wednesday was a proud moment for Wesson head football coach Jeremy Loy, Will’s dad.

“Co-Lin came in this time last year and offered Will and after that he’s really built a strong relationship with their coaching staff,” said Loy. “Micah Davis (CLCC quarterback coach) constantly came through to catch us at practice or to see our games. As a father, it gives you a great feeling of trust to know that he’s going to play for a group of coaches that wants the best for him as a student and athlete.”

Malachie Williams

Williams was the heartbeat of the Brookhaven High defense and a top target for the CLCC coaching staff as several junior college programs around the state wanted to sign the physical linebacker up.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Williams has all the intangibles that are needed to defend an offense on the collegiate level. He has the size, ability to run and instincts to cover and tackle skill players on the outside or in the middle of the line of scrimmage.

“He’s a guy that has a pretty good nose for the ball,” said BHS coach Tucker Peavey. “He’s athletic and fast enough to play on the outside and he’s never going to be scared to put his head down and take someone on.”

As a senior, Williams made a team best 121 tackles for the Panthers while earning DL All-Area and All-Region honors in 2023.

Landon Smith

Smith was another player that saw plenty of the CLCC coaching staff during his recruitment process. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman has showed an ability to play in whatever spot he’s needed since joining the BHS varsity team during his freshman season.

At Co-Lin, he’ll be coached by veteran offensive line coach Robert McFarland. Smith was a Daily Leader All-Area selection as a senior.

“Landon is a very hard worker and that’s something that’s important to him, to be a leader with his effort,” said Peavey. “He understands the game and picks stuff up quickly and that should help him adjust at the next level.”

Other signees for the 2023 class from Co-Lin include defensive lineman Christian Washington (Clinton High), linebacker Kamarious Gibson (Clinton High), defensive back Zyrian Jackson (Hazlehurst High), linebacker Wallyeke Curry (Vicksburg High), running back Traylon Minor (Natchez High), defensive lineman Torian Williams (Clarksdale High), defensive back Shamarie Carroll (Gautier High), defensive back Ricardo Butler Jr. (Northside High), defensive lineman Kenneth Andrews (Clinton High), defensive back Martavion Sanders (North Pike), linebacker Lakendrick James (Northside High), defensive lineman Jayden Link (Lynchburg, VA), offensive lineman Jatylon Holloway (Tylertown High), defensive lineman Deshawn Palmer (Cleveland Central), offensive lineman Jatavius Jones (Hazlehurst High), linebacker Fernando Washington (Macon, Georgia), offensive lineman Dalton Graham (East Central HS), linebacker Curtis Brown (Canton High), offensive lineman Bryan Jones Jr. (Greenville High) and wide receiver AJ Phillips (Gautier).

The Wolves also announced a small group of transfer that included former Southern Miss wide receiver Richard Mays (Ridgeland High), former Tyler Junior College defensive back Jahron Manning (New Orleans) and former Tyler Junior College defensive lineman Billy Pullen (Kaufman, Texas). CLCC defensive coordinator Matt Gordon previously worked at Tyler JC before coming to Wesson last season.