Starkville Daily News

Six Jackets to join EMCC program, two others decide to sign with ICC


One after another the eight members of the Starkville High School football team took a seat behind the table in the school gymnasium and announced where they would be spending their next two years of football.

The first six Yellow Jackets put on the caps of East Mississipp­i Community College and the final two decided that Itawamba Community College was best for them.

As each player talked about where they were going, it caused SHS head coach Chris Jones to reflect on why they got to this point. Jones is proud they got to experience winning a Class 6A State championsh­ip and sign with a college as an added bonus.

“They are part of the reason why we had a successful season,” Jones said. “Not many kids can say they won the championsh­ip and they went on to play college ball.

“It's when you have a good group of kids like that, who bought into the process and doing stuff the right way. It's not just on the field, but we've got a team GPA of 3.0 so they are really good student-athletes. It's total player developmen­t. This is like icing on the cake.”

Starkville Daily News 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Ny'jadus Roberts-holloway will be taking his linebacker talents to play with the Lions and he is taking five of his Jacket teammates with him.

Roberts-holloway heard there might be one or two from Starkville also going to Scooba but was surprised about five.

“It's special,” Roberts-holloway said about the Jackets joining him on the EMCC roster. “It's something we can live and talk about later on after we're done.”

Roberts-holloway said the Lions have a winning program and “they are about the best.”

Along with Roberts-holloway, SHS has wide receiver Jaylon York, defensive lineman Tony Lucious, running back C.J. Willis and cornerback Jejuan Davis going to attend EMCC.

“It feels good to come together again as a team,” Willis said. “We have the same championsh­ip mentality. We can go with another one and have a better chance at a championsh­ip.”

“In regard to Will, any coach we reached out to, we could not find a guy that had a negative thing to say about him. Everybody we talked to said, ‘man, this guy is an SEC football player. This guy is a steal. You got to get on this guy.'”

Along with those players announced on signing day, MSU released the transfer portal players that are planning to come to Starkville. Georgia tight end Ryland Goede, Eastern Washington wide receiver Freddie Roberson, Vanderbilt quarterbac­k Mike Wright, Kentucky safety Ja'kobi Albert, UCLA kicker Nicholas Barr-mira and Indiana safety Christophe­r Keys were all announced.

Most of those players are already in class and were announced a few weeks ago. Goede and LSU cornerback Raydarious Jones won't arrive to school until the summer and Miami corner Khamauri Rogers was announced in December with Jones and he's already enrolled.

With the transfer portal rankings, the Bulldog class is ranked 33rd in the country by 247Sports. It's a class that filled mostly all of MSU'S needs and got the Bulldogs closer to competing at the highest level in

the SEC. Now it's time for spring ball and the 2023 season that will follow, but recruiting never stops and Arnett believes he has the staff to do some big things.

“We have a staff in place that's going to recruit that footprint harder than anyone,” Arnett said. “It showed up in our signing class in December – top

25 recruits in the state of Mississipp­i, we signed 12, which was more than any other school. With the additions we made to the staff, I expect us to further increase our efforts… keeping the best players in Mississipp­i playing at Mississipp­i State. The staff will be invaluable to me as the head coach.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States