College recruiters to make their way back to Centreville

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 1999

CENTREVILLE&160;- The town of Centreville may be a small bump in road to some folks, but for college football recruiters, it’s small haven.

Such athletes as the Wicker brothers over the years and Justin and Mitch Sawyer last year have kept coaches on the trail to Centreville Academy.

This year is no different, as senior linebacker Rob Robertson and senior defensive end Rich Newman are drawing letters from all over.

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The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Robertson has actually been offered a football scholarship to Ole Miss, LSU and Stanford.

&uot;Stanford has told Rob he could play five different positions,&uot; Centreville head coach Bill Hurst said of his multi-talented athlete.

Justin Sawyer signed with Ole Miss last year. Cousin Mitch signed with Liberty University. When Ferriday, La., native Darryl Daye took the head coaching job at Nicholls State, Mitch was wanting to transfer, but the NCAA&160;would not allow it. So Mitch enrolled at Southwest Mississippi Community College.

Robertson, who gets letters from Tennessee, Alabama and other SEC&160;schools nearly every day, said he has talked with Justin and Mitch to get an idea of what to expect this year.

&uot;I went up to Ole Miss to talk to Justin and he gave me a lot of advice,&uot;&160;Robertson said. &uot;I know it’s going to be different this year.&uot;

Robertson said he has actually narrowed his choices to Ole Miss and LSU.

&uot;I’m just going to go out there and play the game,&uot; Robertson said. &uot;We won’t have quite as much depth this year, so we’re going to have to have a lot of folks going both ways.&uot;

&uot;Rob runs real well,&uot; Hurst said. &uot;He has good feet and good speed. There’s no doubt he can play major college ball.&uot;

Newman is being heavily recruited by Tulane and is leaning toward the New Orleans school for its medical program.

Centreville finished 13-0 last year, capturing the MPSA Class AAA&160;state championship against Simpson.

&uot;That was our ultimate goal,&uot; Robertson said. &uot;I&160;didn’t really know what to expect, but after we beat (Jackson) Prep I knew we had a chance to go all the way.&uot;

Robertson said not as much depth this year will make it tough to repeat last year’s amazing record.

&uot;We play some tough teams,&uot; he said. &uot;But with the good Lord’s blessing, you never know. It’s going to take a lot of conditioning on our part.&uot;

Robertson, who was timed at 4.46 in the 40 at the LSU football camp, said he doesn’t believe he will have any trouble separating the recruiting part from school and preparation for games.

&uot;I’ll forget about all that at those times,&uot; he said. &uot;I’ll just talk about it over the dinner table. It’s a big decision.&uot;

Robertson said he is grateful for the success of former Centreville players.

&uot;I&160;think the fact people like Justin get looked at helps the underclassmen,&uot; he said. &uot;And Justin making all-state. I would like to think I can help someone out by being looked at. But I’m not worried about all-stars or all-state. My goal is to get a scholarship.&uot;

Robertson admitted telling one school no will be difficult.

&uot;I’ve gotten to be good friends with Coach (Lou) Tepper at LSU and Coach (Art) Kauffman at Ole Miss,&uot; he said. &uot;But I’m going to do what’s best for me.&uot;

Newman stands 6-2 and weighs 220.

&uot;Rich hits hard,&uot; Hurst said. &uot;He does a great job out there.&uot;

Newman said it really hasn’t sunk in that he is a senior.

&uot;I guess when I walk into school on Monday it will really hit me,&uot; he said.

Newman agreed that compiling another perfect season will be difficult.

&uot;We’re going to have to work a whole lot harder in practice,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve got everybody going both ways.&uot;

Newman, who runs a 4.46 in the 40, said he would love to continue playing football after high school.

&uot;I just want to have a good last year of high school football,&uot; he said. &uot;Whatever happens after that is fine. If football is not in the future, then I’ll be able to concentrate more on the books.&uot;