RECRUITING NOTEBOOK: Green stays true to his word

Brandon Speck | Buy at photos.djournal.com Surrounded by family, North Pontotoc's Marcus Green signs with Louisiana-Monroe.

Brandon Speck | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Surrounded by family, North Pontotoc’s Marcus Green signs with Louisiana-Monroe.

By Brandon Speck and Gene Phelps

Daily Journal

Marcus Green had other suitors. But the North Pontotoc wide receiver stayed true to his word.

Green signed his national letter of intent with Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday, becoming the school’s first senior to sign with a Division I program.

“The relationship I had with the coaches, we just grew closer over the whole recruiting process,” Green said.

The Daily Journal All-Area first-team selection finished last season with 52 catches for 922 yards and 12 TDs. He rushed for 801 yards and 11 TDs on 55 carries. He said his focus is to become more of a deep threat in Monroe.

Mississippi State stayed in close contact with the 5-foot-9, 180-pound player, and Louisville inquired Friday, but Green stuck with ULM.

“It was just family oriented,” Green said of his official visit. “Everywhere you went, the team was together. It’s a big deal.”

Golden Wave signees

Tupelo linebacker James Gilleylen, who played on one of the state’s top defensive units, signed with Tennessee-Martin.

Gene Phelps | Buy at photos.djournal.com Tupelo linebacker James Gilleylen and his mom, Tiffany Gilleylen, embrace after he signed Wednesday with UT-Martin.

Gene Phelps | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Tupelo linebacker James Gilleylen and his mom, Tiffany Gilleylen, embrace after he signed Wednesday with UT-Martin.

“I went up there earlier this season, but I made my official visit last weekend,” he said. “It’s a good program. I felt really comfortable up there.”

UT-Martin is an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision school in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Gilleylen won the Bill Stewart Award at this season’s annual Bernard Blackwell North-South All-Star Football Game in Gulfport. The honor is presented to a player who exemplifies courage, sportsmanship and character.

He recorded six tackles for the North in the game.

Gilleylen’s Golden Wave teammate, long snapper Joel Baldwin, signed with Mississippi State as a preferred walk-on.

Baldwin was rated the No. 9 long snapper in the nation by one recruiting service.

Chargers suit up

Oxford DB Conrey Meagher signed up for two uniforms, signing his NLI with Navy. Meagher, a WR/DB, wants to be a Navy Seal.

“It’s an honor to play there. It’s an honor to be accepted into the Naval Academy,” Oxford coach Johnny Hill said. “They get the best of the best.”

The 5A North champ Chargers sent five players to four-year schools, including kicker Cody Mills to Delta State and DB Mark Pegues to Mississippi Valley. Long snapper Chadwick Lamar will walk on at Ole Miss. Indiana and Oregon State had shown interest.

DE Darius Liggins signed with Middle Tennessee. Liggins (6-foot-4, 230) was an MSU pledge until the Bulldogs pulled his offer a few days after the Chargers played in in the state championship.

Alcorn State, Boise State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss were also in the mix, and Miami made a call.

Former Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix is the defensive coordinator for the Blue Raiders.

Quick kicks

• Itawamba Community College defensive back Darius White (Grenada) signed with California on Wednesday. He was the nation’s top-ranked junior college DB and is one of six juco signees for the Bears, who went 1-11 last season.

• Northeast Mississippi had three players sign with four-year schools on Wednesday: Safety Miguel Graham (East Webster) with Northwestern State, linebacker Nick Johnson (Olive Branch) with North Alabama and defensive lineman Razean Prather (Ripley) with Missouri Southern State.

• Four area players were part of the 34-man signing class at Northwest Mississippi:OL Andrew Herrington (Marshall Academy), DB Fred Garth Jr. (Amory), DL Kenyana Heard (North Pontotoc) and RB Roger Thomas (West Point).

• ICC and Northeast each signed 34 athletes on Wednesday.