Voorhies, area athletes sign to play football on National Signing DayPublished 12:04am Thursday, February 6, 2014
WOODVILLE — Wednesday marked the next step of several local high school football players’ careers as they all inked their names on letters of intent to play football at the next level on National Signing Day.
A number of Miss-Lou seniors saw the hundreds of hours of hard finally pay off as they signed their name on the dotted lines in front of fans, family, coaches and classmates.
Players like Wilkinson County High School quarterback Devin Voorhies sat in the Wildcats’ gym with the entire football team, Wilkinson County senior class and many family members Wednesday. Donning a purple-and-gold tie and hat and decorating his signing table with a purple Death Valley banner, Voorhies finalized his plans to attend LSU this fall.
The Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year verbally committed to play safety for LSU before his senior year, but sealed the deal Wednesday. Voorhies said Wednesday was one of the most memorable days of his life, aside from it also being his 18th birthday.
“It feels great to finally sign the paper and officially become a Tiger,” Voorhies said. “I go into training camp June 2, and the coaches said I could potentially start at safety if I work hard.”
Two other Wildcats signed as well, with LaDarion Peterson heading to Southwest Mississippi Community College, and Allenzae Staggers signing to play for for East Mississippi Community College.
Both Staggers and Peterson expect to head to training camp in June and July, respectively.
Peterson said he would be competing to play any spot on the field for Southwest.
“First, they had me down as a running back, but they signed me as an athlete so I get to showcase my talent,” he said. “If I had to chose a position, I would play safety, because I’m kind of small for a running back.”
Staggers said he can’t wait to become a college man, which will come sooner than expected as Staggers leaves for Scooba the Monday after graduation.
“I’m just excited and ready to move on to college,” Staggers said. “I’m a little nervous, but I’ll just have to get used to things.”
Wildcats head coach Kenneth Brown said he is proud to see several of his seniors go off to college.
“I think its great that we can have student athletes that have the academic and athletic abilities to further their education,” he said. “Hopefully, it will encourage some of the others to do the same and follow their footsteps.”
Brown said he gave the trio some advice on succeeding on the collegiate level as well.
“The main thing they have to realize is that they’re on a different stage,” Brown said. “The game is a lot faster, and they’re much stronger. There is more work to be done, and the talent is greater. They just have to be willing to accept the responsibility.”
Now the only thing left for Brown to do is to schedule time to attend at least one of each player’s games.
East Mississippi and Southwest Mississippi are set to play each other during the 2014 season, which will make it easier for Brown to see Peterson and Staggers play at the same time, but Brown is not sure which team he will cheer for.
“I will probably have to wear a Southwest hat and a East Mississippi shirt at the same time,” he joked.
Natchez High School
Three Natchez High School seniors signed with Mississippi community colleges to further their playing careers Wednesday.
Wide receiver/defensive end Earon Brown and offensive/defensive lineman Jayvin Foster both inked with Holmes Community College, while defensive back Lee Jackson III signed with Coahoma Community College.
Foster said it felt great to continue his playing career and was satisfied when he took a visit to Holmes recently.
“When I went up there, it was a good vibe,” Foster said. “It felt like it was the best place for me and a good place to start off my football career.”
Brown said ending the recruiting process was a relief.
“I had a hard decision to make,” Brown said. “I’m just hoping I made the right decision for me in going to Holmes.”
Jackson said he was looking forward to being a part of Coahoma’s roster next fall.
“I’m just glad to sign somewhere and be part of another team,” Jackson said. “It’s an opportunity I’m going to make the best of.”
Other area schools
Cathedral High School and Trinity Episcopal Day School didn’t have any players sign Wednesday, but both Saints coach Zach Rogel and Green Wave coach Ron Rushing said a few of their players are expected to with schools in the near future.
Adams County Christian School head coach David King said a couple of his players were waiting on some things to fall in place, whether it was earning scholarship money or being invited as a preferred walk-on.
Ferriday High School head coach Cleothis Cummings said wide receiver/defensive lineman Keiwuan Miles will sign with Louisiana College at 1 p.m. today.
Jefferson County High School wide receiver De’Anthony Blake signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and Franklin County High School running back Chris Robinson signed with Gulf Coast Community College.
Block High School tight end Jahmal Macklin is planning to sign with Southeastern Louisiana at 10 a.m. today.