By John L. Pitts
There was one mild surprise in state recruiting circles on Wednesday as Hinds Community College offensive tackle Norman Price signed with Southern Miss.
Price, who was No. 48 on ESPN’s list of the top 50 junior college prospects, was previously seen as leaning to Mississippi State.
Price (6-foot-5, 315) joins Hinds teammate Thomas Collins (6-4, 320).
“I am really excited about signing a pair of offensive linemen,” Southern Miss coach Todd Monken said. “They will help add size and depth to our offensive line. They are big. They are physical. They are great guys both on and off the field.”
The Golden Eagles also have a commitment from Olive Branch senior OT Ronald Cochran (6-5, 280).
Oak Grove defensive back Picasso Nelson told the Hattiesburg American this week that he’ll graduate early and plans to enroll at Southern Miss in January.
Rebels sign three
Ole Miss announced three signings on Wednesday, offensive lineman Fahn Cooper (6-5, 315) from College of DuPage; defensive end Jeremy Liggins of Northeast Mississippi and linebacker Christian Russell of EMCC.
Russell was widely ranked as the No. 1 middle linebacker prospect in the community college ranks. Liggins was a standout quarterback at Lafayette who signed as a senior with LSU.
Bulldogs sign two
Copiah-Lincoln OL Jocquell Johnson (6-5, 3-5), a Rivals.com top 50 prospect, signed Wednesday with Mississippi State. He joins early high school grad Nick Fitzgerald, a quarterback who’s already in the Bulldogs’ camp.
EMCC’s big splash
New national champion East Mississippi boasted of 11 players signing on Wednesday with four-year schools.
The big newsmaker there was defensive lineman D.J. Pettway signing with Alabama, as he was kicked off the Crimson Tide roster in February after being charged with second-degree robbery. He reportedly had offers from Ole Miss and Tennessee.
His EMCC defensive line teammate Jarran Reed also signed with Alabama.
The nation’s top junior college prospect, Mississippi Gulf Coast wide receiver D’haquille Williams, signed with Auburn. The Tigers also signed Gulf Coast LB Derrick Moncrief, Co-Lin offensive lineman Xavier Dampeer and Georgia Military DE DaVonte Lambert.
South Carolina signed four-star DT Abu Lamin of Fort Scott (Kansas) CC.
Kentucky signed a four-star DT, Cory Johnson of ASA College.
Florida signed OL Drew Sarvary (6-7, 310) of Tyler (Texas) JC.