By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
They began the season as opponents and they’ll end their seasons as competitors.
Tupelo High defensive end P.J. Jones and Itawamba AHS quarterback Maikhail Miller lined up against one another on Sept. 4, when Itawamba defeated the host Golden Wave, 35-13, in both teams’ second game of the 2009 season. This week, they’ll be showcasing their talents at the 2010 U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio, Texas.
The two juniors are among the nation’s 500 best high school football players to receive an invite to essentially try out for the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Nicholas Redmond of Harrison Central High School (Gulfport) and Ben Stevens of West Jones High School (Laurel) will also represent Mississippi at this week’s 2010 U.S. Army National Combine.
The four will by vying for a spot on the 2011 All-American Bowl’s East squad.
“That is pretty good,” said Tupelo High Football Boosters Club President Morris Miley, who will be accompanying Jones to San Antonio. “Four out of Mississippi? Wow.”
The combine, which begins Thursday and ends Saturday, allows the country’s best players to showcase their skills in front of scouts. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee will select players from this year’s combine to participate in next year’s All-American Bowl.
Nineteen players have already been selected for the ’11 All-American Bowl even though the combine begins Thursday. A total of 90 players (45 for the West and 45 for the East) will be chosen for the game.
“I’m hoping to learn more about that,” Itawamba AHS head coach Jamie Mitchell said about the 19 players already selected.
“I’m sure they (the selection committee) already extended invitations to those kids across the country.
“I’m sure they take the elite of the elite and extend invitations to those guys.”
Jones and Miller will attend the 2010 All-American Bowl game at noon on Saturday.
The game will be televised live on NBC.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org