Wilkinson County High School wide receiver and cornerback Allenzae Staggers catches a pass during a recent practice at the school’s football field. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Wilkinson County High School wide receiver and cornerback Allenzae Staggers catches a pass during a recent practice at the school’s football field. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Football 2013 impact players: Wilkinson County’s Staggers enjoys making acrobatic catches

Published 12:01am Monday, August 19, 2013

WOODVILLE — When opposing teams game plan for Wilkinson County High School, quarterback Devin Voorhies is usually the first player they take into account.

But if Voorhies is No. 1 on the “don’t let him beat you” list, then senior wide receiver Allenzae Staggers is a close No. 2.

In fact, Wildcats head coach Kenneth Brown said because of all the attention Voorhies, an LSU commit, is getting, Staggers is likely not getting the attention he deserves from college coaches.

“He’s a good receiver,” Brown said. “He’s kind of sliding under the radar. He has phenomenal potential and can be as good as he wants to be. Someone is going to miss out on a good athlete, and someone is going to get a good athlete.”

But Staggers said he doesn’t feel disrespected at all by the attention Voorhies gets. In fact, he would rather have Voorhies throwing him the ball at quarterback than having to face him as a defensive back.

“I don’t have that on my mind,” Staggers said. “I just do what I have to do. It’s a great help having (Voorhies). I’m just glad he’s on my team, because if he wasn’t, I’d be lining up against him.”

Staggers is coming off a productive junior year for the Wildcats. He caught 52 passes last fall for 825 yards and five touchdowns, earning him a Natchez Democrat All-Metro first-team selection. He says his strengths as a player are having great hands and attacking the ball while it’s in the air. He said the more acrobatic the catch, the better it is for him.

“I just want to do something crazy, like make the highlight reel,” Staggers said. “It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Voorhies said there’s a comfort level whenever he tries to get the ball to Staggers, because he know Staggers is always going to make a play on it even if the throw isn’t perfect.

“He’s a very aggressive player,” Voorhies said. “When the ball goes up, he puts it in his mind that it’s his ball, and he attacks it.”

Brown said Staggers’ mindset is a nice complement to his natural talent.

“He has a lot of athletic talent,” Brown said. “He has good upside, and he works hard. So far, he’s had a good attitude about everything.”

When he’s not catching passes on offense, Staggers is trying to catch passes on defense as a cornerback. He said he enjoys being a two-way player, especially because of the excitement playing on defense generates.

“I like the hype-ness of the defense,” Staggers said. “The defense gets the crowd going, and they set the momentum of the team.”

Staggers said he enjoys intercepting the ball just as much as he does catching a pass. He also said his strengths as a defender are containing the deep balls and the jump balls. And while some defensive backs might shy away from contact, Staggers said tackling is fun.

“I love contact, because football is a physical sport,” Staggers said.

The team goal for the Wildcats this fall is nothing less than a state title, Staggers said. Individually, he said he would like to earn a Division I scholarship.

“I’m hearing from Ole Miss, and I already have an offer from Jackson State,” Staggers said.

“Hard work and dedication is what it will take (to win state). We’re kind of small size-wise with all of the freshmen on our team, but I feel like we can handle it.”