CATEGORY: FOC College Football



By Todd Vinyard

Daily Journal

Itawamba Community College head football coach Jay Miller must view his 1996 recruiting class like going to a good buffet. He enjoys what he has had so far, and is ready to go back for more.

Itawamba inked 44 in district players Wednesday on the first day of signing. Northeast Community College meanwhile is waiting for a new head coach to be named next week before signing anyone.

ICC has a much smaller district compared to other community colleges, but those counties certainly don’t lack talent. A good recruiting crop can be expected if you are coming off a successful 8-3 state runner-up year like Miller’s Indians.

A key defensive player in Amory’s 15-0 season, defensive lineman Terris Burns, signed with the Indians. Star Shannon offensive lineman Shane Grice will also be in Fulton.

“I am very pleased with who we have signed so far and am looking forward to getting some more,” Miller said. “This is one of our better classes.”

Offensive linemen are not easy to come by so Grice was a particularly nice pick-up.

“We feel like Shane Grice is one of the best offensive linemen in Mississippi,” Miller said.

Tupelo fans will recognize five players in Indian colors. Golden Wave standouts to move on include quarterback-wide receiver Charles Penson and strong safety Marcus Bell.

“Charles is small but he has got some potential,” Miller said. “And Marcus Bell can be a great defensive player.”

Miller said a couple of areas the Indians would have liked to have done better are at quarterback and defensive back.

But ICC still can pick up five out-of-state players.

As usual there is a lot of excitement around recruiting time, but sometimes unexpected gems can turn up.

“Two guys who really surprised us last year were Houston’s Tony Johnson and Aberdeen’s Calvin Plant,” Miller said.

One area player ICC is still working on is Amory kicker Drew Hagan.

Meanwhile, Northeast’s recruiting is on hold until a head coach can be named to replace Gunter Brewer, who resigned Jan. 12 to take an assistant’s position with Marshall University.

In other community college recruiting news, three Northeast Tigers from last year have signed with senior colleges. They are: defensive end Rachad Wilson (6-4, 260) with South Carolina, defensive lineman Mike Jones (6-2, 300) with Iowa State, and linebacker Jon Schumacher (6-2, 226) with UT Martin.

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