AREA PLAYERS SIGN; LIONS ARE TOPS

CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: TALBER

AREA PLAYERS SIGN; LIONS ARE TOPS

By Mike Talbert

Daily Journal

PONTOTOC Danny Hooker had a flight to catch in Memphis to referee a Marquette-South Florida game in Milwaukee Wednesday.

But he waited in Peoples Bank in Pontotoc long enough to watch his son, Pontotoc quarterback Ryan Hooker, sign a scholarship with Auburn University.

There was a certain amount of deja vu for him. He had signed as a quarterback with Ole Miss in 1966, only to play free safety during the Archie Manning era.

When it came time for a parent to sign, he let his wife Cristie Hooker do the honors.

“I did all right and my mother signed mine, I’ll let his mom sign his,” Hooker said. He then headed out to catch his plane.

Also, Pontotoc tackle Marcus Autry signed with Auburn, and tight end Daniel Galloway signed a letter of intent with Ole Miss. Four other Warriors were among 40 prospects that Itawamba Community College up Wednesday.

The three Pontotoc signees were among nine area players to sign football scholarships, including linebackers Armegis Spearman of Bruce and Chad Cook of Calhoun City.

Four Amory players tight end Rufus French, linebacker Reggie Smith, defensive lineman Darius “Boone” Brown signed with senior colleges Wednesday while seven other Amory players signed with ICC. Also, three Tupelo players safety Jason Long, defensive back George Roby and defensive lineman Rocky Pizza signed with Samford.

Galloway, whom Pontotoc coach Jimmy Mitchell predicts will be the sleeper of the area crop, said, “Those Amory players are really good, it is going to be good to be playing with them instead of against them.”

“I feel like I have something to show,” he said.

Autry said he and Hooker arrived at their decisions to go Auburn by different routes, but he is glad the quarterback decided to go there. “It will be good to have someone to travel the five hours to Auburn with. I’m trying to get us a radar detector,” he quipped.”

Autry said the choice was a close call between Auburn, Oklahoma and Mississippi State.

“It was a pretty hard decision, I’m glad all the pressure was off,” he said.

Hooker had actually committed to Mississippi State, when Auburn made an offer to Hooker after losing a quarterback commitment.

Hooker, who has attended the Bowden Quarterback Receiver Camp, felt like the chance to play under that system was too good to pass up.

Click video to hear audio