Tupelo: The Recap
SE Lauderdale's LaDarious Clark
SE Lauderdale's LaDarious Clark
Posted May 29, 2011

For the fourth straight year, some of Mississippi's best and brightest gathered at Tupelo High School to display their skills and look to gain some much needed exposure to aid in their college recruitment. 155 players from the Magnolia State took part and some have emerged as bona fide college football prospects.

Catch me if you can

The name of the game on Saturday was speed and lots of it. For the first time in the event's history, we had some sub 4.4 times in the 40 yard dash.

Nettleton's Patrick Jones turned ran twice in the low 4.4s and then finally ran a 4.36 to close out his testing events on the day.

Jones was one of six players selected to run in the fastest man competition where he finished behind Clinton corner Cedric Jiles.

Jiles ran a 4.38 to win that run for bragging rights, but West Lauderdale standout Deondrae Williams and North Pontotoc running back Mitchell Cunningham made him earn in it.

Williams turned in a sub 4.5 time during testing, while Cunningham ran 4.50 in his second attempt on the day.

Big Men on Campus

A very athletic group of lineman took part in the day's events and the consensus among all of the coaches was that Byhalia junior to be Davion Johnson was the top offensive line prospect of them all.

Johnson and teammate Jamal Danley both earned all Combine honors for their work on Saturday.

Danley, a two time participant, has trimmed up a bit and looks outstanding. He will head into the fall in tremendous physical condition.

Teams squaring off against Byhalia this fall will have their hands full with that pair of big men.

Terry Smith of Port Gibson also drew praise from the OL coaches who supervised the one-on-ones.

Perhaps the top underclassmen offensive lineman was Chris Berry of Quitman. The 2013 prospect was consistently mentioned by his camp coaches as a hard worker and a good technician.


Cedric Jiles was a name that many prospects knew coming into the weekend and he certainly lived up to expectations.

Jiles took on all comers getting more than his share of reps at corner.

The only player who bested Cedric during individual challenges was Southeast Lauderdale's Ladarious Clark.

Even on a couple of plays where Jiles maintained great coverage, Ladarious was able to win the jump ball and reel in the completion.

The pair went head to head and developed a mutual respect for each other due to their head to head battles.

Some backs of note

The state of Mississippi has a rich history of talented running backs, but the past couple of years the Magnolia State has not been as deep as normal when it comes to ground gainers.

Nettleton's Corbin White turned some heads on Saturday with a strong showing in testing and in the team drills.

White was the leading rusher for NHS last fall and he will be one of the area's top players in 2011.

Corbin has put on some good weight and appears ready to be the go to guy for his program.

A strong summer and fall will go a long way towards giving White the chance to showcase his skill for college recruiters.

Mitchell Cunningham of North Pontotoc played for a baseball state championship a couple of weeks back, but he looks to be in mid season form when it comes to football.

Cunningham was one of the more physically gifted prospects in attendance and despite being an inch or two short of being a big time guy, Mitchell has some real ability.

Roll on Wave

Tupelo High had several quality prospects in attendance including quarterback Luke Hobson.

Luke has bulked up and has the look and the confidence of a guy who is ready for a big season.

Hobson threw several nice passes on the day and his ball placement was excellent on most attempts, especially outside the numbers on the deeper routes.

Josh Hamilton also passes the look test and in individual drills, he shined. With some hard work this summer and fall, Josh could play his way into some college options.

Secondary help

Nigel Green of Northwest Rankin really had a nice day. Green played with maximum effort and laid out to bat down a few passes thrown in his direction.

On the deeper routes, Nigel used his length to bat the ball down at its' highest point and sometimes with authority.

Milton Britton from Long Beach was one of the more colorful characters at the event and he played with a lot of emotion.

Britton competed every rep and tried to learn something every time he faced off in drills.

The gunslingers

While Luke Hobson might have won the top honor by a nose, Mooreville's Griff Loftis made a name for himself with a strong showing.

Loftis threw the ball with a tight spiral most of the time and was a quarterback of choice for many of the receivers.

Rip Kirk of Tunica Academy is a quarterback to keep an eye on for down the road. Despite being just a freshman, Kirk already has the size to make him a prospect of interest for the future in Mississippi.

Yazoo City's Dazmon Wright has an absolute cannon. Wright threw several passes close to 60 yards or more. He still has some work to do on his mechanics and his accuracy, but he can throw it a mile.

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