Community college football coaches reel in recruits

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

For Itawamba Indians head coach Jon Williams, watching faxes being received on Wednesday was a cool thing.
For one day on the calendar, faxes were cool for college head football coaches, including Williams and Northeast Tigers Ricky Smither, who collected their 2013 signing classes.
“I think our signing class was small by design, we chose quality over quantity,” said Williams, who saw ICC ink 25 players. “We were able to be very specific with our needs.”
Fourteen of those signees were from the Journal circulation area.
“We’re really excited about A. J. Hunt from Saltillo,” Williams said. “And Devin McIntosh from Amory is a wide receiver that has caught a lot of balls the last two years.
“We also got Class 5A Defensive Lineman of the Year Xavier Pegues from Oxford, and offensive lineman Kasey Grice from Tupelo, a picture perfect type of guy we want for our tackles.”
Williams also was quick to point out 6-foot-3 Quinton Lane from Ackerman, who could play both ways – as could Hunt – and could impact special teams as well.
Late in the recruiting period, Smither indicated that most of the potential Tigers signees were within 100 miles of the Northeast campus, and the Northeast haul of 37 signees backed that up .
“I thought it went well,” Smither said. “We saw some good local kids in our old district.
“The biggest thing I was impressed with, was that the kids we recruited stayed with us.”
One of Smither’s biggest grabs was offensive lineman Ross Smith from Booneville, one of 18 area signees.
Northeast also picked up nine players from state champions South Panola (6A), Starkville (5A), and Noxubee County (4A).

Click video to hear audio