I guess it would not be fair to start the conversation of winning championships without mentioning South Panola and the three Ole Miss commits who have been a huge factor in them going 59 - 0 during their career at the "The University of South Panola."
**Darius Barksdale, who goes by "Tig", is looking to break the all time rushing record in a season at South Panola that was set by Kevin Jones in 1996. During that time frame, there have been many great rushers to come through that program with the names of Toward Sanford, Kemario Hentz, Chris Young, Derek Pegues, James Dean, Ricky Wright, and many more backfield players that later went on to high D1 programs.
Tig has rushed for 2, 579 yards and 30 TD's despite missing two games. But more importantly, what Barksdale keeps proving that he is their "money" man. Every time South Panola needs six to turn back the momentum, look no further than Darius Barksdale, as he has rushed for nearly a 1, 000 yards in the playoffs alone.
Darius made a name for himself as a 10th grader in the state championship game against Meridian. Below are some highlights from the game.
Will participate in the MS/AL All-Star game.
**The Tigers are loaded on the offensive line. As many as five of their linemen have a chance to play on the D1 level some day, but the man who keeps the engine rolling is there do it all utility man, Quinn Sanford.
The 6' 1", 295 pound three year starter has played anywhere from tight end, center, guard, and tackle. Quinn has the footwork to handle any position on the offensive line and the tenacity to run block as well as he pass blocks.
Sanford really made a name for himself as a junior when he went up and dominated Olive Branch's K.J. Wright, who was considered to be one of the better defensive ends in the '07 class. Below is footage from the Olive Branch game.
Will participate in the MS/AL All-star game.
**When you play for a team like South Panola, you are usually in the shadows of some "super star". When you take into consideration that Mississippi has only produced five Army All-Americans in the last three years and three of them came from South Panola, you can understand why. Bud Barksdale would fall under the "overshadowed" category to his do it all cousin, Tig Barksdale.
But all Bud has done is be the glue for the Tiger's secondary as he has not missed a game in the four years he has been with the Tigers and has taken every snap during the last 42 games at either left corner of safety.
Like Tig, Bud is very versatile and actually made a name for himself last year at the 5A Championship game against Meridian when he went 80 yards for the sealing TD.
Barksdale has 38 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 for TD's, and 21 pass breakups on the season.
**Next in line are what the Tillmans have done for the Franklin County program. The Bulldogs are looking to repeat as 3A Champions tomorrow against Louisville for the first time in school history.
Bo Tillman, the younger brother of Marcus Tillman who has not actually committed to Ole Miss yet but is believed to be a heavy lean, has been a monster as usual this year as he has collected 81 tackles, 10 sacks, 1 int, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 recoveries.
Louisville's head coach, Brad Peterson, had this to say about the 6' 6", 305 pound two way lineman.
"Bo Tillman is going to dictate things on defense no matter what," Peterson told the Clarion Ledger. "You have to go into the game and double team him. If he turns it loose, I do not know if a double team will be enough."
Will participate in the MS/AL All-star game.
**While Bo receives most of the pub, it is his 1st cousin and best friend, Josh Tillman, who keeps putting up all the numbers. After collected 18 sacks as a a junior, the 6' 5", 255 pound defensive end has put up another monster year with 94 tackles, 18 sacks, 1 int for a TD, 6 forced fumbles, and 5 recovered fumbles.
You think Ole Miss is drooling to get these two defensive linemen in the mix?
Josh will participate in the MS/AL All-star game.
**A non-Ole Miss commitment that you need to keep an eye on this weekend is Green County's do it all Alonzo Lawrence. The 6' 0", 180 pound standout has 697 yards receiving on only 27 catches, scored 5 kickoffs/punts for Td's and has also chipped in 81 tackles, 2 int's for TD's, and 3 sacks at cornerback.
Another player that is on Ole Miss' radar, but is not an offer yet, is Benoit Brooks' Timothy Graham. Tim has single handily carried his team to their 2nd championship game in the past three years while playing QB, RB, WR, LB, S, CB, P, KR, and any other position that is not on the line of scrimmage. The 6' 1", 208 pounder has 1, 645 yards rushing, 28 Td's and 5 interceptions on defense.
**What about some underclassmen to keep an eye on?
It would have to start with
the Louisville duo of QB Clayton Moore
and Ath Dennis Thames. Clayton has passed
for over 3, 700 yards and 38 Td's while his main weapon has accounted for 1, 500
yards of offense and 16 Td's at tailback and receiver.
But the two way starter, Dennis, has made just as big of an impact on defense as he leads the team in tackles with 81.
Noxubee County faces Laurel Saturday and all eyes will be focused on their do it all junior receiver, Pat Patterson. The 6' 3", 215 pound receiver, who is ranked by Scout.com as one of the Top 100 juniors in the country, has simply dominated anybody in front of him all season. For the year, he has over 1, 400 yards receiving and has even kicked 22 extra points for good measure.
A trio of South Panola juniors that need your attention are QB David Renfroe (953 passing 12 TD's), FB Reuben Corley, and David Conner (90 tackles and 12 sacks.)
One of the top juniors in the state and the South next year will come from Franklin County's QB, Jamie Collins. Th e6' 3", 215 pounder is expected to play either safety, linebacker, or receiver on the next level. Jamie has over 900 yards rushing and passing despite missing 4 games with a back injury.
**Guys and girls, it is time to head to Jackson or get on your favorite spot on the couch or chair and watch some Mississippi football at its finest!!!
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