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Signing day has finally arrived

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Feb. 7, 2001
Dozens of college hopefuls in The Meridian Star's coverage are expected to ink national letters-of-intent with junior colleges and four-year institutions today.
The Meridian High Wildcats, coming off a Class 5A playoff appearance, head up the area list with 10 seniors expected to sign on the dotted line.
Linebacker Jeremy Ruffin and wide receiver Mario Hill will reportedly head to Ole Miss to play for David Cutcliffe, while quarterback Daniel Spinks apparently will go to Florence, Ala., to play for the University of North Alabama.
East Mississippi Community College could get as many as seven Wildcats today. Tight end Tyler Richardson, split end Fines Tate, offensive linemen Robert Williams, Braz Coleman and Frank Edwards, defensive back Otis Bumpers and defensive tackle/fullback Eddie Moss are expected to head to Scooba Tech.
Quitman wide receiver David Laphand looks to become a member of the Nicholls State University Colonels in Thibodoux, La., while the Panthers' Willie Pickens is expected to sign with the University of West Alabama or Mississippi College.
Rod Brooks and Darrian Parks will apparently go to Jones County Junior College.
Newton County's Cougars, who came within a hair's breath of advancing to the Class 3A state championship last season, has three players that are expected to sign with East Central Community College. Defensive standout Kody Comans, along with running back Germaine Smith and cornerback Justin Smith will play for Terry Underwood.
At Philadelphia, tailback Marquez Dupree should ink with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Defensive back Keith Houston is a partial qualifier and is expected to attend Ole Miss.
At Neshoba Central, kicker Timothy Fieber and linebacker Stacey Lewis are expected to play for Underwood in Decatur, as well.
The Class 4A North State runnerup Louisville Wildcats are expected to send nine players to the college ranks, with six headed to ECCC Cory Crosby, Nick Frazier, Adrian Eiland, Ken Triplett, Arrion Triplett and Marcus Hibbler.
Jermaine Miller is still deciding between the Warriors and Troy State.
All-everything quarterback Bryant Thomas will reportedly make his way to Ole Miss, while linebacker Marquess Ledbetter will either head to East Central or Utah.
Lake's Josh Viverette should also be heading to East Central.
The Forest Bearcats will likely send three players to East Central from head coach Jack French, including Jason Graffenread, tailback Pete McBride and John Williams.
At Southern Choctaw, the Indians' Jeremy Foster is expected to ink with Jacksonville State.
At Sumter Academy, head coach Glen Sanders reported Tuesday that lineman Daniel Lagrone is considering signing with either EMCC or UWA.
The Wayne County War Eagles, who went toe-to-toe with Moss Point in the Class 5A quarterfinals, are expected to see their own Lance Gandy sign with Mississippi Valley State.
Quarterback Taylor McNeel of Winston Academy is considering several schools, including Delta State and Navy. The Patriots may also have other players sign their names today, possibly including Wesley Wright.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. Email him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.
Signing day parties:
The following is a list of local events held by alumni associations of each of the state's Big Three schools to celebrate national signing day:
Mississippi State: The Lauderdale County Chapter of the MSU Alumni Association will host its signing day party at Princeton's Restaurant beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m. Guest speakers will be MSU football coaches John Bond and Kurt Woerner.
Ole Miss: The Ole Miss Rebel Club of Meridian will gather upstairs at D.T. Grinders beginning at 5 p.m.Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Southern Miss: The Southern Miss Golden Eagle Club will also meet at D.T. Grinders beginning at 5 p.m. The event costs $10. the featured speaker will be USM Recruiting Coordinator and Special Teams coach Chad O'Shea.

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