Divinity narrows college choice to three

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hinds AHS quarterback Austin Divinity (4) scrambles for yards during a playoff loss to Seminary in November. Divinity has narrowed his college choices down to Alabama, Ole Miss and Southern Miss. National signing day is set for Feb. 2. (MEREDITH SPENCER The Vicksburg Post)

[1/11/05]Austin Divinity wants to play defensive back in college and has generated a very good relationship with new USM defensive coordinator Jay Hopson.

The Hinds AHS standout also has dreams of playing football in the Southeastern Conference.

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So when the 6-foot, 2-inch War Dawg makes his decision next week, it is shaping up to be an SEC-Conference USA challenge.

Divinity has narrowed his college choices down to Alabama, Ole Miss and Southern Miss.

“I like all of them,” said Divinity, a three-time selection to the Vicksburg Post’s all-area team. “I like the atmosphere at Ole Miss, and the students at Alabama. I also like Southern Miss’ defensive scheme.”

Divinity, who played quarterback, wide receiver, punter, kick returner, punt returner and defensive back this past season, would love to play both offense and defense, but mostly defensive coaches have paid him visits.

National signing day, a college football holiday marking the first day high school recruits can sign national letters of intent to play football in college, is Feb. 2.

Divinity is the most recruited player in this area this season, and he has qualified with both his ACT and grade point average.

Vicksburg High tight end Sean Gibbs is receiving plenty of interest from Ole Miss. MSU and Florida are also after Gibbs. Gators’ defensive back Marcus Harris is getting a serious look from Northwestern (La.) State.

Warren Central running back Larry Warner, in the midst of his first soccer season, is drawing interest from Southern University and Delta State.

“(Divinity) has the potential to be as good as he wants to,” said Hinds AHS coach Michael Fields, who has coached Divinity for three seasons.

Former Utica High offensive lineman O’Lester Pope starred at Southern Miss. So did War Dawgs’ assistant coach Reginald Warnsley, who played fullback for the Golden Eagles.

The biggest plus for Southern Miss may turn out to be Hopson.

The Warren Central product coached the defensive backs for Southern Miss for three seasons before taking over the same position at Ole Miss. He spent one year in Oxford before being hired as the Golden Eagles’ defensive coordinator.

He has been recruiting Divinity for several years for both Ole Miss and USM.

Over the past three seasons, Divinity has thrown for 1,349 yards and 10 touchdowns, run for 2,661 yards and scored 43 touchdowns and caught five passes for 131 yards.

On defense, he’s recovered three fumbles and has five interceptions. He has also returned two punts for touchdowns.

“I have a big chance,” Divinity said. “I have a chance to play a big role for someone.”