Amazing Mississippi JCs of '94 and More

This piece is for JC football buffs as well as those who follow recruiting and top prospects. Hank Ives, the long-time publisher of JC Grid-Wire, takes a look at the amazing JC Class of '94 in Mississippi. Also, the latest news on Garden City DT, Ahmad Childress; Southwestern LB, Fai Leomiti; and other interesting news.

Think back to 1994.  Hinds went 11-1.  Jones finished at 8-2 and Itawamba was 8-3. All three finished in the JC Grid-Wire top twenty.

Walter Jones (OL; Holmes), Keith Drayton (DL; Northwest), Jason Ferguson (DL; Itawamba), and Juran Bolden (DB; Delta) were first- or second-team All-American.

But, it was the pure numbers that were drafted by NFL teams that really told the tale.

Check it out:  Jones is now playing for the Seattle Seahawks; Ferguson is a solid defender in the New York Jets line; Duce Staley, Itawamba,  is a terrific running back for the Eagles; Duane Starks, Holmes cornerback, played for the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl team of 2001 and just moved as a free agent to the Arizona Diamondbacks; Antowain Smith, East Miss., has been a star running back for Buffalo and the 2002 Super Bowl champion Patriots.

In addition, Kevin Jackson (DB; Jones Co.), Deadrake Epps (DB; Delta), Marcus Spriggs (OL; Hinds), Terry Day (DL; Holmes), Joe Michael Robertson (DE; Jones Co.), and Mark Smith (LB; Hinds) have seen pro action.

Yes, that was quite a recruiting class coming out of Mississippi JCs in 1994.


How many schools do you know of that had 3 nicknames over the year?  Pasadena is one. They have been called the Pirates (25-27), Bulldogs (28-53), and Lancers (54-present). Rumor also had it they played a couple of years as the St. Bernards, but we never heard of that one.

Dennis Greene, head coach at Erie CC, was an NJCAA All-American in 1973 at Hudson Valley.

Happy to say that Bob Stangel who reportedly was awaiting a lung transplant, is looking mighty fit.  The ex-Mt. San Jacinto coach has taken on a lot of the duties surrounding the California JC Coaches Assn.

Snow wide-receiver B.J. Flores, is one of the top light heavyweights on the U.S. Boxing team.

In the final 20 years of their football existence, Ricks teams managed to rank in the J.C. Grid-Wire Final-30 no less than 15 times.  The Vikes were in the top-10 on nine occasions.  Oddly, as consistent as they were, Ron Haun's troops never finished higher than 3rd.

Despite some people's word to the contrary, don't expect to see Ahmad Childress (6-7, 320; OT/DT) at Alabama next year. It doesn't look like he will return for another season at Garden City either. Very unfortunate.  Academic hurdles were too much. We wish him good luck and hope that he'll return to the classroom and gridiron sometime in the future.

Ranger College in Texas will play an independent schedule this year after dropping out of the Southwest JC Conference.

Monterey Peninsula running back/return specialist, Antowain Vaughns, signed with Weber State and will probably take over the ground-gaining duties so nicely handled by ex-Foothill College ace, Johnny Gray.  Both Vaughns and Gray were J.C. Grid-Wire All-Americans

Bob O'Mera, veteran Arizona Western head man, thinks he has two of the best linebackers ever to play for the Matadors.  Bruce Blue, 6-2, 247 with 4.77 speed and Valentine Chude, 6-1, 236, 4.56, should be a handful for all foes.  The Matadors also have a pair of mighty-mite backs.  Hurtis Chinn tips the scales at 178, but stands just 5-6 and his running mate, Sederick Clark is 5-8, 217.  Thing of it is, they run 4.3l and 4.51 40s, respectfully.

Latest report on Southwestern All-American linebacker, Fai Leomiti, is that he is working hard to get his AA in time to accept one of four D-I offers that are on the table if he makes his academics.


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