Prospects abound in Jackson

Damion Bracy

The seventh-ranked Jackson Aggies have started the season 5-0 for the first time since 1990 thanks to a roster sprinkled with talent. Former Citronelle (Ala.) and Southern Miss star quarterback Jeff Kelly coaches the Aggies, and he said this is one of the most talented high school teams he has been around.



"We really like our senior class," Kelly said. "We have some really good football players throughout our roster. I really feel like we are going to have some really top-notch guys come through here over the next few years. I think they will open some eyes around the state."

The Aggies went 9-4 last season and had two players, Corey Besteda (WR) and Gabriel Mass (DL) sign with a college program when they inked with The University of South Alabama last February. Both of those guys have made impacts as freshmen for USA. But this year's Aggie team seems deeper and better as a unit.

"We don't have a Corey Besteda on the team, but we have a lot more players. We have a lot of really good players that are not playing a whole lot because they are behind someone else. It is good to have that competition," Kelly said of his 80-plus players.

Probably the biggest name on the team right now is scat-back Damion Bracy. Bracy is not the biggest guy on the field at 5-9, 175-pounds, but he is lightning fast and tough to bring down. Kelly said he has consistently clocked Bracy's 40 somewhere around 4.4-5.

Through four games, he missed one because of the flu, the senior has rushed for 579 yards and seven touchdowns on 64 carries (8.27 y.p.c). Bracy is hearing from several schools around the south.

"Damion has racked up a lot of yards for several years now. He is real explosive. He is versatile, you can split him out as a receiver or he is good enough to carry the ball 20-25 times if he is needed," Kelly said.

Another Aggie standout is DB/PR Laprintess Morris. He is another speedster with sub-4.5 speed. At a Scout camp earlier this summer in Tuscaloosa, he turned in a 4.12 shuttle time.

"He has a great nose for the ball on defense and has amazing ball skills on offense. He is also really dangerous in the return game," Kelly said.

The Aggies have one of the top kickers in the state in senior John David Mitchell. He is 2-of-3 on the year with field goals of 37 and 27 yards. He has been a starter since eighth grade with a career long kick of 45 yards as a junior.

Mitchell has connected on 24-of-28 extra-points this season with several of his misses due to bad snaps. He has also booted nine kickoffs for touchbacks.

"He is the best high school kicker I have ever coached. He kicks off consistently around the goal line. He has good accuracy on his extra-points, and he has good range. He is pretty accurate from 40 to 49 yards," Kelly said.

A few more players have plenty of talent, but may lack the size as big-time college players. Senior left tackle Jeremy Armistead seems to have all the tools except for height. At 5-10, 285 pounds, his opportunities at the next level are possibly limited. But that didn't keep coach Kelly from talking about the talented senior lineman.

"If Jeremy was just 6-3 we would be talking about him having the opportunity to go to Alabama, Auburn or some other school like that. He is just a great football player. He has great feet and is extremely athletic. I can really see him making a team a very good player whether it is at center or at a guard spot. He is just a good player," Kelly said.

Senior Shuntavious Sims is one of the most disruptive defensive linemen around the state. Sims collected six tackles and 10 quarterback hurries last week against top-ranked Leroy in a 27-13 Jackson win. But at 5-11, 215 pounds, finding a spot for the speedy lineman may be difficult.

Damion Foreman is another senior who could find a spot on a college team next fall.

The biggest prospects on the team are possibly a few underclassmen. Topping the list is sophomore offensive lineman Shaquille Scott. If you think of Shaq when you see his name, you're right, the 16-year old is 6-5, 300 pounds. If he continues to improve, he has a chance to become a legit D-1 player in the future.

Junior lineman Storm Cabaness (6-3, 280) and Desmond Dickinson (6-1, 285) also look to have promising futures. Cabaness camped at Ole Miss and Alabama this summer and returned with glowing reports.

"Storm has the size and has played very well this year. He is starting to take over his spot on the line. The good thing about him is he still has another year, so he is going to get better and better," Kelly said.

"Right now none of our players have offers, but they have all been getting a ton of attention," Kelly stated. "Just last week we had West Alabama, Jacksonville State and Alabama stop by. This spring, we had pretty much everybody stop by."

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