Editor’s note: Media day for the Itawamba Community College football team is next week.
BOONEVILLE – Maybe you’ve seen Josh Jarboe’s rap video on YouTube.
Bob Stoops certainly did.
Jarboe’s profanity-laced urban poetry was not music to Stoops’ ears. For that reason, Oklahoma’s coach told the freshman Sooner … “Later, dude,” some two years ago.
After a couple of troubled seasons at Troy, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Atlanta wide receiver has made his way to Northeast Mississippi Community College for what may be his last chance to live up to his on-the-field reputation as one of the nation’s top wide receivers and shed his bad boy off-the-field image.
His rap sheet includes a weapons charge while in high school.
“He’s a great kid who has made some stupid decisions,” Tigers coach Ricky Smither said on Tuesday, during Northeast’s media day. “He asked me to give him a chance. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Maybe this chance we’re giving him will change his life.”
He certainly has the potential to change the Tigers’ offense.
“He’s a top five receiver, an NFL guy,” Smither said. “He knows the only way to get there is through this program.”
Jarboe, who caught 15 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown last season for Troy, is excited to get this opportunity, a third chance.
“I hope they understand how I am,” he said. “I’m just a kid. I’m not trying to cause any trouble. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I want a fresh start.
“I want another shot at playing D-I, use my skills to get me where I need to be. This is all that I have.”
Smither and Jarboe met with Northeast president Johnny Allen on Tuesday.
“Dr. Allen is tremendous when it comes to giving people chances,” Smither said. “Josh told us that if there were two things he could take back in his life it would be that video and his (numerous) tattoos.
“He knows that if he does anything out of the ordinary, I’ve got to let him go.”
The Tigers open their season Sept. 2 at East Central.
– Alabama signee Deion Belue reported to the team on Monday after being released by the Crimson Tide. An academic casualty, the standout cornerback from Tuscumbia, Ala., is ready for some junior college ball.
“I know this is a serious league,” he said. “I’d like to go back to Alabama one day if they still want me.”
Defensive backs coach Jeff Carter is confident Belue will land a spot in the lineup.
“Watching him move around, you know he’ll help us somewhere,” Carter said.
n Two other players from D-I schools are expected to play this season – Michigan State safety Brendan Trawick and Georgia Tech offensive tackle Antonio Foster.
Trawick left MSU after being involved in an incident at a residence hall on campus.
Foster was released for academic reasons.
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal