BLACKWELL CLASSIC: It's one game down, one to go for Indians' Miller

By John Wilbert / NEMS Daily Journal

OCEAN SPRINGS – For his first of two all-star games, Maikhail Miller had a pretty good experience.
The Itawamba AHS senior quarterback was presented with the Bill Stewart Award for his “attitude, character and conduct on and off the field” after his North team’s 19-14 victory over the South in Saturday afternoon’s 62nd Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic at Hugh Pepper Field. He was also a captain of the North All-Stars.
The Ole Miss commitment will leave next Sunday for Charleston, S.C., where he will be playing in New Year’s Eve National Underclassmen Combine’s All-World Gridiron Classic at The Citadel. Players have to report by the 27th.
There, he will be rooming with fellow Ole Miss commitment T.J. Worthy, a wide receiver from Gadsden City, Ala.
Miller – who threw for 1,636 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 1,148 and 22 – said his commitment to Ole Miss is pretty solid and doesn’t see himself changing his mind.
Even with the Rebels expecting a pair of transfers to join their program as quarterbacks and already having two QBs on their roster, Miller says he’s still happy with his choice that he made this summer.
“They’re going to be seniors when I’m still an underclassman,” said the IAHS senior. “They’ll be ahead of me in school.”
For the record, Miller spoke with Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dave Rader on the phone early Saturday evening.
“He asked me how we did,” Miller said. “I’m guessing he’s probably out recruiting.”
Defensive state of mind
- After Saturday’s game, Calhoun City senior J.R. Jennings said he had just played the most defense he has ever played.
Jennings, who is better known for quarterbacking the Wildcats, played safety for the North All-Stars. He had a nice lick on Franklin County’s Milton Griffin off a double pass in the third quarter.
“When he tried to catch it, I hit him in the chest and he dropped it,” Jennings said.
Despite the impressive defensive showing, the Calhoun City player, however, prefers to play quarterback.
East Mississippi Community College would like Jennings – who is undecided on his college plans at the moment – to play in the defensive secondary, while Northwest Mississippi Community College likes him as a quarterback.
Jennings did pull off an impressive throw on a halfback pass in Saturday’s game, drawing a pass interference call on a ball thrown to Cleveland wide receiver Jahmel McIntosh.
Defensive domination
- The West Point Green Wave surrendered 177 points in 15 games this season, so it was only fitting for the Wave to have two of its players play defense in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and two more play on the defensive side of the ball in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic.
Tommy Keys, who played in last weekend’s Alabama-Mississippi game as a defensive lineman, was on hand for Saturday’s Bernard Blackwell game to watch teammates Jaquille White and Vontarrius Dora play for the North All-Stars’ defensive unit.
Keys had six tackles and 11/2 sacks in the Alabama-Mississippi game and is drawing interest from the University of Alabama, University of Memphis and Mississippi State. He’ll likely play fullback or H-back in college, though.
Dora, a defensive end, is receiving attention from Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
White, a cornerback, said he hasn’t received tremendous interest from college programs and is waiting patiently for an interested college program to contact him.
West Point quarterback Justin Cox, a Mississippi State commitment, played as a defensive back in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Awards galore
- Hazlehurst defensive back Gabriel Gray was the game’s defensive MVP, while North Panola wide receiver Ricky Hunt took home offensive MVP honors. … The South’s Bill Stewart Award recipient was Forest wide receiver Treshawn Mitchell. … Scott Central defensive lineman Maher Bradford took home a game ball for selling the most ads for the program.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or john.wilbert@djournal.com.