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Monday Morning Coffee Break

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FOOTBALL

Mississippi State had their first football camp of the summer this past weekend. And what a camp it was. First things first, the winner of the big schools classification was Macon, Mississippi's Noxubee County High School. Congrats to the twenty-four players and coaches on the camp team. They had to beat some outstanding teams to get to and win the championship game.

As for individuals who attended the camp, although I don't know who The Clarion-Ledger's Dandy Dozen will be this coming season, I have my own opinion - based on a few observations and a lot of reading - about who the top twelve players in the state of Mississippi are this year. And eight of those twelve were at the MSU camp. They were Corey Clark, Omar Conner, Quinton Culberson, Johnny Daniels, Ken Griffith, Robert Hough, Jason Husband and Jeremy Young. One other player, Delvechio Ellis could be one, therefore MSU may have had nine instead of eight.

For those of you who don't know who the players are, here is a little more detail on each:

  • Corey Clark - DL, 6-2, 280, Collins HS.
  • Omar Conner - QB, 6-1, 205, Noxubee County HS.
  • Quinton Culberson - DB, 6-2, 205, Provine HS.
  • Johnny Daniels - DL, 6-1, 275, Vicksburg HS.
  • Ken Griffith - LB, 6-3, 253, Brandon HS.
  • Robert Hough - TE, 6-5, 200, Provine HS.
  • Jason Husband - WR, 6-3, 200, Jim Hill HS.
  • Jeremy Young - QB, 6-4, 185, Provine HS.
  • Delvechio Ellis - OL, 6-3, 300, Vicksburg HS.

    Based on my own observations, Corey Clark and Johnny Daniels were the two best defensive linemen at the camp. Corey is about 6-2, and 280 while Johnny weighs about the same but may be an inch shorter. Both have exceptional quickness. Corey was almost unstoppable while Johnny was just a shade behind him. They may not be rated as two of the best in the nation at the moment, but they deserve it. They are really very, very good.

    Two underclassmen to watch are South Panola High School's Barksdale identical twins, Kendrell and Lendrell, both of whom are juniors. Although they need to work on their pass-rushing technique as evidenced by their performance in the one-on-one drills, they definitely have the size, speed and athletic ability to be great ones. Plus, they are very smart in the classroom and will easily qualify. The three South Panola coaches at the camp, were very proud of the twins as well as all their other players that were at the camp. There were over 20 South Panola kids at the camp including not only the Barksdale twins, but Ricky Wright (MSU previously offered him), Javar Pollard (4.3 speed in the forty), Mario Chapman and Durriel Barker as well.

    While South Panola had over 20 players at the camp, Vicksburg had to have the most at the camp with 56 kids. Included in their group were, as I mentioned above, Johnny Daniels and Delvechio Ellis. Paul Gorney, a member of The Clarion-Ledger Top 50 Junior list was also in attendance.

    As I said above, Noxubee County High School has 24 players in attendance. Senior quarterback Omar Conner was just one of many good players. There were others such as junior Brandon Tate and senior Joey Sanders, both wide receivers.

    Collins (MS) High School was also represented with the likes of athlete Kethone McLaurin, Corey Clark, running back Voncarie Owens and Cory McLaurin in attendance. There were a few others but those are the names of the players that I wrote down.

    Provine High School (Jackson, MS) was also well represented with over 20 players. All of their top players were in attendance, Quinton Culberson, Jeremy Young, Greg Clark, Robert Hough and junior George Griffith (6-0, 335, 5.1).

    Baldwyn (MS) High School also had a big portion of their team on hand with about 22 kids. Included were top players such as Willis Beene (already offered by Indiana), Trey Powell, Channing Price (small but very elusive wide receivers) and junior quarterback Blake Barnes. Blake is considered not only the top junior quarterback in Mississippi but one of the best in the southeast.

    Jim Hill High School (Jackson, MS) also has a significant portion of their team at the camp, including wide receiver Jason Husband.

    Mize (MS) High School also had a large number of their team represented including top senior Jay Johnson, a 6-2.5, 205-pound senior who had the likes of MSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU, Southern Miss, Marshall and La.-Lafayette calling him in May.

    While their were many Mississippi high schools in attendance, there were also many individual schools represented including Starkville High School (junior Heath Grant and senior Xavier Collier), Forest County High School (senior Steve Pahlman), M.L. Moor (junior Trey Spencer), Bruce High School (junior Maurice Thornton), Madison Central High School (senior Maurice Rose), Clarksdale High School (Fernando Matthews), Centreville Academy (James Howard), Weir High School (junior Ben Henson), Brandon High School (seniors Ken Griffith and Bobby Weakley), Lamar High School (junior Roland Terry and freshman Clark Terry), Ruleville Central High School (junior Clavorris Sibley), Itawamba High School (seniors Mark Young and Chance Ray), Amory High School (senior Linzy Patterson), Oak Grove High (senior John Davis), Shaw High School (senior Daniel Robinson) and Rosa Fort High School (senior Stephen Chandler). There were many, many others but that is a sampling.

    Not to be outdone by the Mississippi schools, Tennessee, especially Memphis, was also well represented for the first time in a long time. Teams in Memphis such as Hamilton High School, Kingsbury High School, Raleigh-Egypt High School as well Germantown High School had players in attendance. Several of the players are top prospects including Jeremy Palmoore (big-time prospect), Ivora Hall of Hamilton, Terry Jackson (big-time prospect), Jahman Marshall, Darald Bradley, Jerimie Henderson of Kingsbury, Darnell Cleveland (looked like a big-time prospect) of Raleigh-Egypt and Barry Mayfield (great spiral and accuracy) of Germantown. Give assistant coach Terry Lewis credit for getting these schools to come to the camp.

    Other out of state schools who had players in attendance were Rome (GA) High School, Union City High School (senior Ty Goodrich), Denison (TX) High School (senior Brandon Fulton. born in Columbus, Miss.), Mobile (AL) Christian (senior Jonathan Touisian), Patrician (AL) Academy (senior Brian Anderson), Schenley High School (Pittsburgh, PA) (junior Donald Smith. his dad played for Coach Sherrill at Pitt), Bessemer (AL) Academy (Zac Champion. Participated in a combine three weeks ago. Since then, college coaches have been calling him in an attempt to get him to their camps. MSU was his first camp. He will be going to 9 or 10.) and Fort Union (VA) Military Academy (Ryan Holifield). Like the Mississippi list, this is just a sampling of the out of state schools.

    As for the overall quality of the Mississippi players in attendance, at least 22 of the 50 juniors on The Clarion-Ledger's Top 50 Juniors list were in attendance. Included among those were 2 (Clark, Daniels) of the 3 best defensive linemen, 3 (Ellis, Pahlman, Powell) of the top 7 offensive linemen, both top quarterbacks (Young, Conner), the top tight end (Hough), the top defensive back (Culberson), 2 (Matthews, Griffith) of the top 5 linebackers, and the two top wide receivers (Husband, Rose). Of course there were many top players that were left of The Clarion-Ledger's list and I tried to mention them in various places in this article.

    One of the things I really noticed about this camp was the caliber of the quarterbacks in attendance. Not only were Mississippi's two top quarterbacks in attendance but the top junior QB in Mississippi, Blake Barnes, was at the camp, as well as one of and possibly the top quarterback from Alabama, Zac Champion of Bessemer Academy. All four of these quarterbacks really stood out. Another out of state quarterback, Barry Mayfield of Germantown, Tenn., also showed excellent ability according to one of the high school coaches that I talked to.

    All in all, it was the best June camp that Mississippi State has had since I have been covering the summer football camps.

    TECHNICAL HELP

    Do you know how to check your account and your subscriptions? It's easy if you don't. All you need to do is click on the MY ACCOUNT link directly below the right-hand Gene's Page subscription banner on the front page. When you click on it you will bring up a page with three links on it, MY MEMBER PROFILE, MY SUBSCRIPTIONS and a link back to the front page. To review your account, click on My Member Profile. You can change your email address or password there. To review your subscription or subscriptions, click on My Subscription. The shows you what subscription you have and when it expires and when it started.

    UPCOMING CALENDAR EVENTS

    Mary Ann has added all of the spring and summer Bulldog Celebration and other MSU events to the calendar that she has been notified of. If you don't see yours on the calendar, please email her at the email address listed below.

    If you have a MSU related event coming up and you don't see it listed on the Gene's Page calendar, email Mary Ann your information and she will post it on the calendar. We purchased the calendar for your use, so please don't hesitate using it. Mary Ann's email address is maryannswindoll@hotmail.com.

    Well, that wraps up this week's edition of the Monday Morning Bulldog Coffee Break.

    Have a great Bulldog week!

    Gene Swindoll



    Archived Monday Morning Coffee Break Articles:
    May 27, 2002
    May 20, 2002
    May 13, 2002
    May 6, 2002
    April 29, 2002
    April 22, 2002
    April 15, 2002 (None)
    April 8, 2002
    April 1, 2002
    March 25, 2002
    March 4, 2002
    Feb. 25, 2002
    Feb. 18, 2002
    Feb. 11, 2002
    Feb. 4, 2002
    Jan. 28, 2002
    Jan. 21, 2002
    Jan. 14, 2002
    Jan. 7, 2002
    Dec. 31, 2001
    Dec. 24, 2001
    Dec. 17, 2001
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Dec. 3, 2001
    Nov. 26, 2001
    Nov. 19, 2001
    Nov. 12, 2001
    Nov. 7, 2001


    Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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