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8 Warriors sign scholarships

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Jan. 17, 2002
DECATUR Following a successful run to the Mississippi Junior College football playoffs, a handful of East Central Community College Warriors are making plans to continue their football careers at the next level.
East Central head football coach Terry Underwood announced that eight of his Warriors have signed scholarship deals with four-year schools. East Central finished the year at 6-4..
The veteran coach says that all eight of the signees should see plenty of playing time at their new schools.
Perhaps the top player from East Central is linemen Jerry Spencer, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive tackle. He has signed with the University of Louisville.
Spencer was named the South Division's Most Valuable Linemen. He led a Warrior offense that ranked second in rushing at 221.4 yards per game.
Chris Hooper, a 6-4, 215-pound free safety from Atlanta, Ga., is another immediate starter. Hooper signed with Central Missouri State, a Division II school. He was a honorable mention All-State. He made 42 tackles and had 14 assists.
The third impact player is linebacker John Bibb of Tuscaloosa, Ala. who signed with Northwestern Oklahoma University. Bibb was a first-team All-State pick and was also named an honorable mention JC Grid All-American. He was the Warriors defensive captain and was credited with 46 tackles, 22 assists and two quarterback sacks.
Local products who signed deals include Fredrick Knighten of Meridian who is now at the University of Tennessee-Martin. Knighten was a two-year starter at tight end for the Warriors.
Former Neshoba Central product Marco Cole has signed with Harding University. Cole was a honorable mention All-State defensive back and was credited with 26 tackles, 12 assists, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Another defensive back signee was Philadelphia product Darrius "Buck" Thames. He has signed with Harding University. Thames (5-11, 175) made 27 tackles with eight assists, and five interceptions during the 2001 season.
Newton County product Jon Gusman, a 6-4, 255-pound defensive linemen, has transferred to Illinois State University. Gusman was honorable mention All-State and was credited with 24 tackles and 20 assists.
Other signees include Melvin Cotton of Holt, Ala., who signed with the University of West Alabama. Cotton is a 220-pound linebacker who had 42 tackles and 21 assists.