Few Warren County recruits expected to sign today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003

[2/5/03]According to the calendar, national signing day is today. For Warren County’s football recruiting Class of 2003, however, it figures to be a quiet day.

Five Vicksburg High players are receiving plenty of interest from four-year schools, but none of them plan to sign today.

Guard Delvecchio Ellis and Phelan Gray are waiting for test scores, center Paul Gorney is looking for an interested school, and defensive lineman Johnny Daniel and defensive back D’Eldrick Taylor have received offers but will wait a couple of days before making a final decision.

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No Warren Central players have gotten firm offers from four-year schools, assistant coach Brian Oakes said, but several players will sign with junior colleges.

Hinds AHS linebacker Kendrick Shelby and defensive lineman Devin Ross also plan to sign with Hinds Community College, Hinds AHS coach Michael Fields said.

“They have the athletic ability to play at the next level, now they need to work on their grades,” Fields said.

Daniel has been offered scholarships by a number of Southeastern Conference schools, as well as the University of Miami. He wants to stay close to home, he said.

“I think I’m going to sign with (Mississippi) State,” Daniel said, adding that he would talk to relatives in the next few days and make a final decision by the end of the week. “They like what I do. They know I can play. It’s a risk going down there to Miami.”

Several of the Gators have had trouble qualifying academically, including Daniel. He got the necessary score on the SAT rather than the ACT, he said.

Ellis and Gray haven’t been as fortunate. Neither has been able to score the necessary 17 required to participate in college athletics. Both players will take the ACT again on Saturday.

“I can’t get it,” Ellis, a second-team All-State selection, said of his ACT score. “I’ve got the grades, just not the score.”

Ellis has been offered a scholarship by Grambling, and was trying to decide whether to accept it or go to a junior college.

Gray was still considering his options, and said he still planned visits to several schools. If it doesn’t pan out, he said he would head to a junior college.

“If my ACT scores don’t look right, I’ll probably go to Hinds,” said Gray, who ran for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

Taylor has the ACT score, as well as the grades required by the NCAA, and was offered a scholarship by Southeast Missouri State after visiting the school last weekend.

Jackson State, Alcorn State, and Ole Miss all showed some interest in Taylor, a two-time Vicksburg Post Defensive Player of the Year, but none gave him a firm scholarship offer.

Taylor said he would probably sign with Southeast Missouri State, a Division I-AA school, but would wait a day or two to make a final decision.

“The coaches were really nice, and when I went I felt like I was at home,” Taylor said of his visit to Southeast Missouri State. “Their football program is in a building situation, and I think I can go up there and play as a true freshman.”

Gorney just wants a chance to play anywhere.

Memphis was showing interest in him early on, but told him they had no more scholarships to offer. Baylor and McNeese State have come into the picture late, but no firm offers are on the table yet.

“The football thing is looking kind of slow,” Gorney said.

Gorney, who has both the test scores and the grades to play at a four-year school, said he wasn’t considering any junior colleges. If no four-year schools offer a scholarship, he said he would simply go to college and try to walk on most likely at Mississippi State.