By Brandon Speck
Itawamba AHS senior Ethan Orr has been all over the Indians’ offensive line.
This week, he’s stayed in Montgomery, Ala., practicing for today’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
“I’m just ready to play. The practices (were) getting rough,” Orr said. “The practices are not that hard, but I haven’t practiced in three or four weeks. Getting sore again is kind of rough, but it’s fun and really intense.”
The game – televised by WTVA – will kick off at noon from Cramton Bowl.
Orr, 6-foot-6, 300 pounds, is one of five Journal-area players on the Mississippi roster, which is coached by South Panola’s Lance Pogue. Also: Lafayette back D.K. Buford, West Point backs Aeris Williams and Roger Thomas and Oxford kicker Cody Mills.
“The game speed is so much faster than what I’m used to,” Orr said. “Everybody is so much stronger.”
Orr may see a lot of time snapping today. He may do that at the next level, too, after manning every position on the prep offensive line, including tight end.
Orr has several junior college offers, but is waiting on a Division 1 offer.
“That’s what I’m hoping,” Orr said.
Buford’s last stand
Buford, an Ole Miss commit, started as a ninth grader and is fittingly closing his prep career as an all-star.
The speedster is widely seen as an offensive threat, a correct perspective, but Commodores’ coach Eric Robertson said he is way more than that.
“I can see him as a wide receiver, slot-type guy, kick returner,” Robertson said. “But I can see him on special teams, covering some kicks. He did that real well for us. D.K. can play on either side of the ball. He’s strong and when he’s over on defense, he’s pretty physical.”
Buford is banged up. He played in last Saturday’s 4A title game with a sprained ankle and hurt his shoulder in the loss against Forrest County AHS.
Buford rushed for 1,027 yards and 15 touchdowns this season and had three receiving touchdowns. He averaged more than 10 yards per carry as a sophomore and has been a major key with and around the big names in Lafayette’s four title trips in five seasons.
“I think Ole Miss just has a good athlete, a super kid and they’ll put him whereever he can help the football team,” Robertson said. “The thing about D.K. is, he’s willing.”