Troy stars grateful for Northeast Community College experience

By NEMCC Media Relations

BOONEVILLE – Five former Northeast Mississippi Community College football players continue to succeed on the gridiron at Troy University but admit that their collegiate success started in Booneville.

Brynden Trawick (Atlanta), LaDarrius Madden (Leighton, Ala.), Emanuel Dudley (Columbus, Ga.), DeMarkus Underwood (Tuscumbia, Ala.) and Cody Woodiel (Hernando), all started their college careers at Northeast under the direction of Tigers head coach Ricky Smither before moving on to the Division I-A level clocking time in the Sun Belt Conference for the Trojans.

Dudley, a 6-2, 295-pound defensive tackle, was named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) pre-season All-American going into his sophomore season at Northeast and was honored on the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-North squad first team as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region XXIII team, while racking up 91 tackles, eight for a loss and two sacks in his career.

Safeties Trawick (6-2, 220 pounds) and Madden (5-10, 200 pounds) both prowled the secondary for the Tigers with Madden leading the Northeast defensive backfield in 2009 and Trawick setting the tone in 2010. Both players were standouts in junior college as Madden was selected as the MACJC Player of the Week on two different occasions during the 2009 season while Trawick received the honor once in 2010.

Madden finished his career at Northeast with 42 total tackles, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions, and three pass break ups and Trawick totaled 62 total stops, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions during a year with the Tigers.

Underwood (6-6, 346-pound) was an All-Region XXIII and All-North Division selectee in 2009 while anchoring the offensive line that helped pave the way for the Tigers’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 1991.

Woodiel (6-4, 270-pound) started as the Tigers’ tight end during the 2010 season and helped lead Northeast to its first winning season (5-4) since 2005.

In 2011, these former Tigers are continuing their success on the field under the direction of Trojan head coach Larry Blakeney.

Trawick and Madden lead the way for the Trojan secondary with Trawick starting at the free safety spot and Madden holding down the strong safety position.

However, these two standouts gave credit to their former coaches and experience at Northeast.

“Northeast is a good school and they pushed me to get better and gave me some skills that I needed to get better and get me to this level,” said Trawick.

After just three games at Troy this season, Trawick is the leading tackler for the Trojans collecting 31 total stops, two tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass break-up, and one pass deflection while Madden has 16 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, one pass break-up, and two pass deflections, and one interception for a touchdown.

Madden returned a 53-yard interception to the end zone against the University of Arkansas in Troy’s week two 38-28 loss to the Razorbacks.

Trawick helped seal the Trojans first win of the season on September 24 against Middle Tennessee State by deflecting a fourth-and-five pass attempt with 1:14 left in the game into teammate linebacker Brannon Bryan’s hand, closing out the 38-35 home victory for Troy (1-2, 1-0 in the Sun Belt Conference).

“I saw the post route coming and I knew I could make a big play on it,” explained Trawick. “It was a big play at the end of the game and my teammate got the interception and we got the win. It was a good team effort.”

Dudley has five total tackles for Troy this season including one tackle for a loss and two sacks. After the Trojans defeated the Blue Raiders, Dudley also admitted that without Northeast, he would not be able to enjoy the big win.

“Northeast was the best that happened to me,” Dudley said. “My best friend was recruited by the Tigers and they saw me when they were recruiting him and was in need of a defensive player and decided to give me a shot.”

“They gave me a second chance in life and allowed me to get my degree,” Dudley continued. “Coach (Ricky) Smither and Coach Brad Boyette and all those guys looked out for me and I love Northeast. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat!”

On the offensive end for the Trojans, Woodiel and Underwood continue to fill their role as situational players for Troy.

After starting the season out on the offensive line, Woodiel has moved back to tight end position for the Trojans and Underwood continues to work for playing time at the offensive line position after being redshirted in 2010.

“It started with Coach Smither and Coach Boyette helping me at Northeast to get here to Troy,” said Woodiel. “I just worked my tail off the best I knew how. They helped me get to the next level and I am glad to be here.”

To summarize each one’s feelings in a story might be hard but each one shared one universal thought of Northeast.

No matter where these players may go in life, they will always remember that the path to success started on a little patch of green grass located on Coach Bill Ward Drive in Booneville, Mississippi.