By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
When Walnut’s Shaquille Perry made a verbal commitment to Mississippi State on Wednesday, he was just carrying on a family tradition.
Perry’s half-brother, Edward “Pig” Prather, was a safety for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001. His cousin, Michael Haddix (1979-82), is fifth on the school’s career rushing yardage list (2,558). Both came from small high schools but were all-SEC selections.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Perry plays both running back and safety and is eager to live up to the family standard.
“My cousin and my brother made it, so I’ll try my best to make it up there to make my brother happy, because he wanted me to go up there,” said Perry, who was the 2010 Daily Journal Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 2,188 yards and 37 touchdowns.
He made 58 tackles and an interception on defense.
Prather played his high school ball at Falkner and was the Daily Journal Player of the Year in 1997. He strongly urged Perry to consider MSU, asking him “every day” where he was going to sign.
“He told me I need to go to Mississippi State,” Perry said, “because they’ll take care of me.”
Haddix played at Walnut and is the last Wildcat to have signed with MSU. Perry, who plans to play two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Community College before enrolling at State in the 2013 spring semester, would be the first SEC signee from Walnut since tight end David McMillin, who played at Ole Miss for one season (1982).
Perry said MSU offered him a scholarship on Tuesday, and it didn’t take long for him to choose the Bulldogs over offers from Southern Miss, Memphis and South Alabama.
“They’ve got good coaches, had a good season this year,” Perry said. “Me and my momma made the decision (that) she wanted me to go over there.”
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.