The entire 40-member roster of high school stars and top collegiate prospects which will represent the state of Mississippi in the annual talent showcase was announced on Wednesday by the Mississippi Association of Coaches.
The Mississippi roster is filled with future SEC and major college players. The team includes 14 players who have already made verbal commitments to attend SEC and other FBS schools next year and many other highly-recruited prospects who have yet to announce their college preference.
The players were chosen by a special selection committee of the Mississippi Association of Coaches, which also includes the eight coaches selected to coach this year's Mississippi team in the All-Star Classic. The squad is comprised of at least one player from each of the state's eight districts and one player from each of the six classifications. All players are current high school seniors.
The state's top two ranked teams in 6A -- South Panola and Meridian – are the only schools with three players each on the team, while Brookhaven, Gulfport, Madison Central, West Jones, West Point and Wilkinson County all have two apiece.
The trio from South Panola, currently ranked number two in USA Today National High School Top 25 polls, includes a pair of Mississippi State commitments – wide receiver Nicklos Brassell, considered by many the state's top prospect, and Kendrick Market, who made the club as an all-purpose athlete. The other South Panola star is running back Qyendairs Griffin, who rushed for 305 yards and five TD's in a 62-6 win over Tupelo last Friday night.
Alabama holds a 16-7 edge in the annual series which began in 1988.
The team will be led by head coach M.C. Miller of Louisville. He will be assisted by Bud Blackledge of Taylorsville, West Point's Chris Chambless, Buddy Duke of Prentiss, Carlos Thompson of Simmons, St. Martin's David Parker, Jerry Walker of Ray Brooks and Meridian's Larry Weems.
Over the past 22 years, the All-Star Classic has built an impressive legacy of featuring close, exciting games, as well as the best home-grown talent from Alabama and Mississippi over that time -- players who have gone on to enjoy tremendous success at both the NCAA and NFL levels.
Since the contest's inception in 1988, 18 first-round NFL Draft picks and 120 overall draftees have played in the Classic, a list that includes Antonio Langham, Deuce McAllister, Jason Campbell, John Copeland, Cadillac Williams, Steve McNair, Willie Anderson, Andre Smith and Rolando McClain, the eighth pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.
A total of 110 former All-Star Classic players are currently listed on Southeastern Conference team rosters, with Mississippi State leading all schools with 35 All-Star Classic grads including stars such as wide receiver Chad Bumphis, offensive lineman Derrick Sherrod, and linebacker Chris White. Ole Miss has 17 All-Star Classic alums, including defensive lineman Jerrell Powe and the team's leading receiver, Markeith Summers.
This year's All-Star Classic Week in Mobile will run from December 6-11, with the game set for Saturday, December 11, in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Kickoff time is TBA. Special game week activities are planned for players and coaches, as well as for fans on game day.
For more information, visit the All-Star Classic's website at almsclassic.com.
The complete 2010 Mississippi team roster (Major College Commitments in Parenthesis)
Quarterbacks – Ben Stevens, West Jones; Jacquez Johnson, Starkville
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – Josh Pinkston, Forest; Tobias Singleton, Madison Central; Joe Morrow, Ocean Springs (Miss. State); Nickalos Brassell, South Panola (Miss. State): Devin Fosselman, Wilkinson County (Miss. State).
Offensive Linemen – Stone Underwood, Brookhaven; Aaron Morris, Callaway (Ole Miss); Jacob Troutman, Gulfport; C.J. Ramirez, Itawamba; Terry Johnson, Oxford; Chris Frigo, St. Stanislaus; Justin Booth, Taylorsville; James Maiden, Wilkinson County (Miss. State).
Athlete – Rueben Duckworth, Mt. Olive; Kendrick Market, South Panola (Miss. State)
Defensive Linemen – Jordan Kersh, Brandon; Jawaun Marchant, Brookhaven; Cortez Hartzog, Gulfport (Southern Miss); Lauren Jackson, Meridian; Justin Hamilton, Natchez; P.J. Jones, Tupelo; Tommy Keys, West Point
Defensive Backs – Jermaine Whitehead, Amanda Elzy (Miss. State); Shaquille Fluker, Meridian; Taveze Calhoun, Morton; Jaylen Collins, Olive Branch (LSU); Dee Arrington, Stone (Miss. State); Justin Cox, West Point (Miss. State); Chelarvez Brown, Winona (Ole Miss).
P/K – Jordan Parker, Corinth
Coaching Staff – Head Coach: M.C. Miller, Louisville. Assistants: Bud Blackledge, Taylorsville; Chris Chambless, West Point; Buddy Duke, Prentiss; Carlos Thompson, Simmons; David Parker, St. Martin; Jerry Walker, Ray Brooks; Larry Weems, Meridian.