Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 5, 2009

Southern Miss’ signing class for 2009.

Kendrick Hardy, 6-0, 215, RB, Monticello (Lawrence County)

A Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen player heading into senior campaign … Garnered Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team honors … Played at Lawrence County High School for coach Mike Davis … A second-team all-state selection, who played in both the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic and the Army All-American Game … Rushed for 1,762 yards on 177 rushes with 17 touchdowns as a senior … Team reached the second round of the Class 4A playoffs … Tallied 2,103 yards on the ground and 29 touchdowns as a junior … Averaged 12 yards per carry to lead the Cougars to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs in 2007 … A four-star recruit by and was also chosen the No. 18 running back in the nation and 11th best overall player in Mississippi … Selected 2007 District 6-4A Most Valuable Player by the coaches in his district and was also selected MAC 2007 4A All-State 2nd Team running back … Is the younger brother of former Southern Miss linebacker/running back Wayne Hardy.

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Mujahid Assad, 6-1, 184, WR, Mobile, Ala. (Williamson HS)

Caught 69 passes for 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns at Williamson High for coach Bobby Parrish … Caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in upset victory over No. 4 Davidson … Finished the game with 11 catches for 115 yards … Returned a kickoff for 95 yards and a touchdown … Captured the 5A state titles in the 100 and 400 meter races last spring … Rated the No. 91st wide receiver in the country by … A three-star standout by that organization and by … Named No. 26-rated athlete out of Alabama by … Participated in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile last December … Caught 33 passes for 917 yards (28 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns as a junior.

Tracy Lampley, 5-9, 170, RB, Waynesboro, Miss. (Wayne County HS)

Had  1,162 yards rushing, 445 yards receiving and scored 18 touchdowns for coach Marcus Boyles at Wayne County High School … Named the Offensive Player of the Year for the WDAM/Hair World of Laurel Area team … A starter since the ninth-grade … Participated in the annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game … Named second team all-state by the Clarion Ledger … Tallied 1,248 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns as a junior en route to a second-team all-state nod by the MAC … Member of state championship team during sophomore season that saw him rush for 1,340 yards and 18 touchdowns … Added 745 yards and 15 TDs as a freshman for the Class 4A runners up … A three-star prospect by both and … Holds ranking of No. 94 by Scout among nation’s running backs, while holding a No. 28 ranking as an all-purpose back by Rivals as well as being tabbed the No. 20 player in the state.

Jacoby Bell, 6-3, 210, Athlete, Biloxi, Miss. (D’Iberville HS)

A two-way player at D’Iberville High for coach Buddy Singleton, playing linebacker and tight end for the Class 4A state runners-up … The top ranked tight end in Mississippi and No. 32 overall by … Rated No. 18 in the state of Mississippi … A three-star prospect by both and … Registered 122 tackles (74 solo) as a senior for a total of 8.1 per game, along with 31 catches for 603 yards for a 20.3 per catch average and 12 touchdowns … Added 296 yards rushing on 26 carries with a pair of scores … Caught 20 passes for 523 yards (26.2 average) and 11 touchdowns as a junior … Played in Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

Chris Campbell, 6-2, 180, QB, Collierville, Tenn. (Briarcrest Christian HS)

A two-star quarterback who ranked as the No. 35 overall player coming out of the state of Tennessee by … Played for Carly Powers at Briarcrest Christian … Threw for 809 yards and four touchdowns as a senior as his team captured a 7-4 mark … Connected on 66-of-148 attempts with four touchdowns … Passed for 1,100 yards as a junior on 86-of-151 with 11 TDs.

Jamie Collins, 6-3, 210, ATH, Meadville, Miss. (Franklin County HS)

Played at Franklin County High School for coach Trent Hammond where he played quarterback as well as a linebacker… A three-star athlete by, who is ranked No. 68 at that position in the country and No. 21 overall in the state of Mississippi … A three-star prospect by … Named 1st team All-State by the Clarion Ledger … Selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game … Had over 1, 200 yards rushing and 1,000 yards passing while leading his team to the state championship game in 2007 … Led team to the Class 3A State Championship during his first year at quarterback, accounting for over 2, 000 yards of offense and 26 TDs for the 2006 season.

Jonathan Guerry, 6-4, 290, OL, Columbus, Miss. (New Hope, Miss.)

A second team All-State selection by the Clarion Ledger and the Mississippi Association of Coaches at New Hope High for coach Michael Bradley … Rated the No. 81 offensive tackle in the country by … Ranked the No. 92 offensive tackle in the country and the 29th overall player in Mississippi by … A three-star prospect by the organization and a two-star by … Named All-Area for his play as a junior.

Ryan Hanks, 6-5, 235, TE, Pace, Fla. (Pace HS)

An All-Area selection at tight end for coach Mickey Lindsey at Pace High School … Captured the District 1-4A title last fall … Rated the No. 90th tight end in the country by … A three-star athlete by … Played in the Pensacola Sports Association High School All-Star game.

Jerrion Johnson, 6-1, 195, DB, Beaumont, Miss. (Perry Central HS)

Played receiver and defensive back for coach Brian Ford at Perry Central High School … Reached the first round of the Class 3A playoffs his senior season … Member of the 2008 WDAM/Hair World of Laurel All-Area Football Team … A three-star defensive back and the 26th ranked player in the state of Mississippi by … A three-star recruit by … Tallied 350 yards receiving with three touchdowns as a receiver and added 28 tackles, six sacks, six interceptions and 12 passes broken up as a junior.

Justin Jordan, 5-11, 190, WR, Plano, Texas (Blinn College)

A junior college transfer from Blinn Community College for coach Brad Franchione … Team won the Southwest Junior College Football Conference championship … Beat top-ranked Navarro in the Heart of Texas Bowl … Earned first-team All-America honors by both JC Grid-Wire and the NJCAA … A first-team All-SWJCFC selection … Caught 55 passes as a sophomore for 715 yards and seven touchdowns … Recorded 30 catches for 381 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman … A four-star junior college product by … Attended Plano High School in the Dallas Metroplex.

Will Martin, 6-0, 201, LB, Madison, Miss. (Madison Central HS)

Played at Madison Central last season for coach Bobby Hall reaching the Class 5A North State championship game … Named 2nd team All-State by the Clarion Ledger … Named to the roster for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game … Transferred from Kosciusko High School after junior year … Reached the North State championship game at Kosciusko High … Named one of the Top 40 juniors by the Clarion Ledger … Tallied a fumble recovery for a 72-yard touchdown … First-team All-Region and MVP linebacker as a junior as he tallied 96 tackles (14 for loss), two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and two defensive touchdowns … Had 104 tackles as a sophomore and one forced fumble … Captured 1st place in Mississippi Bench Press Championship for Age/Division … Captured 109 tackles, four forced fumbles, two interceptions (one for a touchdown) as a freshman.

Ed Preston, 6-4, 287, OL, Bacliff, Texas (Dickinson HS)

Prepped at Dickinson High School for coach big offensive lineman that could get even bigger … Nephew of John Marsh, who was a standout 6-foot-8 all-league offensive lineman for TCU in the early 90s … Rated a two-star receiver by both and … Ranks No. 72 at offensive guard in the nation by

Alex Smith, 5-11, 175, DB, McCall Creek, Miss. (Franklin County HS)

Played at Franklin County High School for coach Trent Hammond where he played defensive back and running back … Second team All-State selection who rushed for 1,132 yards on 196 carries last season … On the defensive side, he recorded 30 interceptions and 30 tackles … Earned first-team honors by the MAC for Class 3A at cornerback … Rated a three-star by and a two-star by

Octavius Thomas, 6-3, 230, DE, Carrolton, Ga. (Mt. Zion HS)

Recorded 51 tackles averaging 5.7 tackles a game and also had one interception as a senior…Had 53 rushes for 392 yards to go along with his 16 receptions for 213 yards and two touchdowns…also passed six times for 56 yards…rated a three-star by 

Martez Thompson, 6-1, 180, DB, Pascagoula, Miss. (Pascagoula HS)

First team all-state selection by the Clarion Ledger and the MAC… All-South Mississippi Honorable mention selection by the Sun Herald … Participated in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile last December … Recorded 44 tackles and four interceptions on defense and had 32 receptions for 598 yards on the offensive side of the ball … Rated a two-star receiver by and

Gerald West, 5-11, 175, DB, Mobile, Ala. (Faith Academy)

Had two interceptions, eight pass break-ups and 34 tackles while returning two kickoffs and four punts for touchdowns as a senior … Collected 36 tackles, three interceptions and recovered one fumble as a junior and returned a punt for a touchdown …  A three-star recruit by both and… rates him as the nation’s No. 24 cornerback in the county … rates him as the No. 22 player in Alabama … Son of former Miami Dolphin running back, James E. “J.J.” Johnson, who was a 2nd round pick in the 1999 NFL draft.

Deron Wilson, 5-10, 167, DB, New Orleans (O. Perry Walker HS)

Played for coach Derek LaMothe at O. Perry Walker High School … Recorded five interceptions, 25 pass break-ups and 30 tackles earning All-District and All-Area accolades for his performance as a junior … Rated a three-star recruit by and a two-star by … rates him as the 81st best cornerback in the nation and the 44th best player in Louisiana … Was a member of the state championship 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams … Finished third in the 200m race at the Louisiana State 4A track and field championships … Cousin of former Southern Miss assistant coach Frank Wilson.

Nathaniel Worrell, 6-5, 265, OL, Pearl, Miss. (Pearl HS)

Class 4A first team All-State Selection by … A first-team selection by the Mississippi Association of Coaches in Class  4A … Second team All-State performer by the Clarion Ledger…Played one season at Pearl High School for coach John Perry … Played three seasons at Kosciusko High before transferring to Pearl HS … Rated a two-star recruit by both and

Hendrick Leverette, LB, 6-1, 225, Purvis, Miss (Pearl River C.C.)

Trevor Newsom, OL, 6-8, 290, Starkville, Miss. (Itawamba C.C.)

David Rue, TE, 6-5. 260, Monroe, La. (East Mississippi C.C.)