It is hard for me to believe that we are getting ready for the Tupelo combine for the fifth time.
The idea came together at one of our scout events in Mobile, Alabama.
After taking part in scout combine events in Starkville and Oxford, the scout summer tour elected to move the festivities to NFL facilities.
Many prospects in Mississippi lacked the funds or resources to make the long drive to Nashville or New Orleans, so out of necessity the Southeast Select Combine was born.
During the past five years we have had the honor to share the field with some of the state's top talent.
Many of those players have gone on to big things in their final year of high school and some eventually became some of the Magnolia State's most coveted prospects.
The first year of the event may still hold the standard for overall talent.
Fletcher Cox of Yazoo City High recently became the first combine alumnus to be selected in the NFL draft.
Cox, the first round selection of the Philadelphia Eagles, was an All-Combine selection.
Long before he was invited to the NFL combine, Cox was running the 40 in Tupelo.
Pat Patterson of Noxubee County also had a strong showing. Patterson went on to earn an invite to the U.S. Army All-American game and eventually a five star ranking by scout.com.
Future Conference USA All-Freshman Tracey Lampley attended the event that day.
Lampley went on to play at Southern Miss as a true freshman and became one of CUSA's most dangerous returners.
Several future Mississippi State standouts were on hand that day. Quarterback Tyler Russell, wide receivers Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith, linebackers Cameron Lawrence and Deontae Skinner and hard hitting safety Nickoe Whitley all shined during the day's testing and competition events.
Future Ole Miss signees Montez Phillips and Terrell Grant also earned All-Combine honors.
The fans in attendance also got a look at future Kentucky Wildcats Justin Bean and Martavius Neloms.
Quitman standout Patrick Hearn attended the event and he is now one of the top receivers at UAB.
The event also gave us our first look at future Ole Miss Rebel Vincent Sanders and recent Oklahoma pledge LaColton Bester.
15 senior combine participants went on to sign with SEC programs.
This year we were fortunate enough to put together two events, one in Tupelo and another in Ocean Springs.
Between the two days of actions, we saw plenty of great talent.
Future Mississippi State Bulldogs Michael Carr, Brandon Hill and Curtis Virges all took in Tupelo.
Underclassmen Joe Morrow, Nick Redmond and A.J. Jefferson met up with us in Ocean Springs for our first Gulf Coast stop.
Even future Diamond Dawg Wes Rea stopped in to visit with us despite being unable to participate.
Future Ole Miss Rebels Sam Noblin, Channing Ward and Senquez Golson all tested well that year.
Southern Miss eventually nabbed All-Combine selection Furious Bradley and Ocean Springs bruiser Allen Howze.
LSU signee Travis Dickson cut a fishing trip short to come play 7-on-7 with us.
A causal observer stopped by to take in the sights and introduce himself. That person turned out to be Kelvin Bolden who played a huge role in Southern Miss' CUSA championship season.
We got our first look at future Texas Longhorn Donald Hawkins this year as well.
An interesting crop of in state prospects produced a mixed bag of combine attendees this year.
Mississippi State signed All-Combine standouts Justin Cox, Devin Fosselman, Daniel Knox and Rufus Warren and Shaquille Perry as well as 2009 participants P.J. Jones and Nick Redmond.
Cox edged out future Memphis signee Joe Price in the first ever fastest man competition for the event.
Vanderbilt signee Jahmel McIntosh made the drive over from Cleveland and really turned some heads.
Future Vandy teammate Tip McKenzie also made his presence known.
Future Mississippi All-Star and 2010 combine participant Devon Desper was part of another impressive in state hall by Mississippi State in the class of 2012.
Joining Desper in that class was 2011 All-Combine selection Cedric Jiles.
Another Madison Central star, Maurice Bennett, ended up taking a late offer from California.
Future Ole Miss Rebel Quntavius Burdette was a combine alum and eventually committed to Coach Hugh Freeze not once, but twice.
2013 prospect Khaderal Hodge made the trip up along with fellow underclassmen Davion Johnson who was named the top OL.
Johnson became the first Ole Miss commitment for the 2013 class.
So who's next? That is certainly a good question and one of the main reasons we keep putting this event together.
This not a for profit event for me or any of the willing volunteers that give up part of their holiday weekend to help out.
I believe the talent level this year may end up rivaling the group back in year one.
As the recruiting process changes, we are seeing more and more underclassmen come in and make names for themselves at events like ours.
We will do our best to find the next big thing as we come together once again in Tupelo, Mississippi this weekend.