New OL Key to NE Mississippi Football Success

BOONEVILLE, Miss. – Northeast Mississippi Community College's 2010 football team enters the season with some questions about its offensive line after losing all five starters a year ago. (PHOTO - OL Antonio Foster)

However, as young and as inexperienced as they may be...head coach Ricky Smither is confident that his offensive line will get the job done this season.  That confidence is backed up by two transfers that have a combined weight of almost 600 pounds.

Kendall Kelly, a 6-6, 295-pound right tackle from Gainesville, Fla., and Antonio Foster, a 6-4, 300-pound left tackle from Valdosta, Ga., will be counted on to lead the way for the o-line this season.

"These two guys are big and strong and we are lucky to have them," explained Smither.  "Kendall and Antonio have been working extremely hard on the practice field and in the classroom for us and we feel like they are only going to get better as we move forward."

Kelly was a standout player for Gainesville High School and committed to play for the University of South Florida out of high school. 

"I am excited to be here and very thankful for another chance to play football and finish my education," Kelly said.  "It is great to be here and I am proud to be a Tiger now and I can't wait for the season to start." 

Foster was a heavily recruited prospect from Valdosta High School. He received offers from Florida State University, Miami, Michigan State and Tennessee, among others, before signing with Georgia Tech in 2009.  Despite being released by the Yellow Jackets , Foster remains positive about his future.

"It was unfortunate that things happened the way they did but I am still grateful to Coach Smither for giving me an opportunity to be here," explained Foster.

Both Kelly and Foster are sophomores and they will take to the field on Thursday, September 2, when the Tigers travel to Decatur to take on the East Central Community College Warriors.  Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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