Vicksburg’s Hill, Tyler sign with SWAC teams

Published 10:32 am Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ole Miss landed its quarterback of the future, Mississippi State filled out its ranks, and senior colleges across the country rummaged through the state’s junior college rosters for talent Wednesday on national signing day for juco players.

Dozens of players from around the state, including former Vicksburg High players Jeramey Hill and Kenneth Tyler, signed with four-year schools.

Kenneth Tyler

Kenneth Tyler

Hill, a versatile offensive lineman who played guard and tackle for the Eagles this season, signed with Grambling. Tyler, who played right guard at Hinds, signed with Jackson State.

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They were among 10 Hinds players who signed letters of intent with four-year schools. The others were: offensive linemen Orlandrious Booker (Tennessee-Martin) and Terry Boyd (Grambling); quarterback James Summers (East Carolina); defensive linemen Erin Brown (Delta State) and Sky Logan (UTEP); defensive back Christopher Lyles (Mississippi College); running back Joshua Dixon (Mississippi College); and linebacker Christopher Harthorne (West Georgia).

East Mississippi Community College had the nation’s top junior college quarterback, Chad Kelly, and one of the state’s SEC schools made sure he stayed close to home.

Kelly was one of four juco players to sign with Ole Miss. Regarded as the top junior college quarterback in the country, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder completed 66.9 percent of his passes and threw for 3,906 yards and 47 touchdowns this season. He lead EMCC to a 12-0 record and its second consecutive NJCAA national championship.

Kelly will join the Rebels for spring practice.

Jeramey Hill

Jeramey Hill

Ole Miss also signed Northwest Mississippi Community College linebacker Terry Caldwell, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive back Tony Bridges, and flipped EMCC defensive tackle D.J. Jones, who was previously committed to Florida State.

“I’m thrilled with the results of today,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “The young men and the families that decided to join our program fit with us, number one, and they fit needs that we have to make sure that our depth is what it needs to be to compete in this conference.”

Mississippi State signed five early enrollees, including two high schoolers.

The mid-year class was comprised of Copiah-Lincoln receiver Donald Gray, Co-Lin defensive lineman Johnathan Calvin, Mississippi Gulf Coast left tackle Martinas Rankin, Memphis Central High receiver Deddrick Thomas and Murrah High receiver Malik Dear.

Calvin recorded 5 1/2 sacks as a sophomore at Co-Lin, while Gray was recently named a NJCAA All-American.

Dear graduated early from Murrah and will enroll at Mississippi State in January. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder played running back, receiver and even quarterback at Murrah. In four years as a starter he amassed 6,201 yards from scrimmage and scored 84 touchdowns.

Dear is expected to play wide receiver for Mississippi State.

“I’m excited. I think I’m going to be doing the same things up there, so I hope they keep me in the same role,” Dear said.

Southern Miss signed eight players on Wednesday — seven from jucos and offensive lineman Ty Pollard from Oak Grove High School.

The Golden Eagles added offensive linemen Jacob Fleming (Co-Lin) and Tyler Stutzman (Southwest Mississippi).

USM also added depth to its secondary with three safeties: Trinity Valley’s D’Nerius Antoine, DeShadrick Truly of East Mississippi CC and Devonta Foster of Coffeville (Kan.).

Tight ends Julian Allen (Lackawanna CC) and Taylor Marini (Co-Lin) rounded out USM’s early signing class.