BALDWYN – Parrish Huddleston has been through the valleys. Wednesday, the former Baldwyn and Northeast CC defensive tackle reached the top of a mountain he set out to climb.
Huddleston, nearly 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, signed with Alabama-Birmingham at a ceremony at Baldwyn High School, the first day eligible community college players could sign with four-year schools.
“UAB was kind of with me from Day 1,” Huddleston said. “We’ve got a good schedule. We play Mississippi State and Southern Miss. With me being a Mississippi guy, I’m definitely ready to get on the field and compete with those guys.”
Huddleston had a winding road. He grew up in the small Itawamba community of Dorsey. After his mother passed away, he transferred to Baldwyn following his sophomore season at Itawamba AHS. He led the Bearcats in tackles as a senior and had 20.5 tackles for loss in two seasons.
“I still didn’t get any looks and was kind of discouraged,” Huddleston said. “But UAB pulled the trigger and I feel like I can take advantage of this opportunity.”
Huddleston also picked up offers from Troy, Ball State and Arkansas Pine-Bluff, among a number of FCS offers. He took official visits to UAB and Texas State.
Surrounded by family at his signing, 12 of them to be exact, he said he chose to sign at Baldwyn because he felt at home after the move. Huddleston will major in education.
“What I’ve been through taught me not to quit, perseverance, be ambitious, never get satisfied,” Huddleston said. “That’s the same approach I’m going to take to UAB. I’m definitely proud of this opportunity.
“I’m going to give it my all and maybe one day I’ll be playing on Sunday.”
Four other Tigers signed on Wednesday – DE Jeremy Liggins (Lafayette) to Ole Miss, RB/QB Jerrard Randall to Arizona, OL Romia Wilson (West Point) to Bethune-Cookman and DB Dequinten Spraggins (West Point) to Murray State.
ICC sees 13 signed
Itawamba CC sent 13 players to four-year schools, including WR Shante Rogers (Itawamba AHS) to UT Martin, OL Quadzing Rogers (Mooreville) to Bethel College and Lafayette’s D.Q. Reynolds to Delta State.
“We are really proud of these guys,” ICC coach Jon Williams said in a statement. “It’s great to see these young men graduate, but it’s even greater to see them graduate early to be able to further their career by joining programs in time for spring practice.”
ICC had 15 players academically eligible to sign before Christmas.