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Football Signing Day: Meridian Sends Nine to Next Level
Posted On:
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Article Courtesy of The Meridian Star
Written By: Elton Hayes

Wildcats’ head coach Calvin Hampton’s first year as Meridian’s leading man produced nine players who signed to play collegiate football Wednesday evening during a ceremony at the high school’s multi-purpose building. 

One by one, D’Angelo Anderson (Miles College), C.J. McClelland (Miles College), Santrell Latham (Southern Miss), Antjuan Rogers (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College), Kenny Glenn (Northwest Mississippi Community College), Devonte Lloyd (Northwest Mississippi Community College), Gabriel Jones (Northwest Mississippi Community College), Mack Martin (Northwest Mississippi Community College) and Jaiquavius Bell (Jackson State) confirmed their pledges to play for their respective colleges behind a projection screen that displayed their pictures and the name and logo of their future academic institutions.

“This means everything to me; it’s a moment I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” Lathman, a Premier Preps defensive selection, said. “I love football, and football has been everything to me. And to do it with these boys, it means a lot to me.”

After deciding on continuing his football career at Northwest Mississippi this past weekend, Martin, a Premier Preps wide receiver, said he’s looking forward to arriving on campus and being a part of the Rangers’ pass-happy offense.

“This feels great,” Martin said. “I like Northwest’s offense, and I can’t wait to get there and play ball. We have good coaches here at Meridian, and they prepared me well. It’s going to help me (on the next level). 

Hampton also recognized, in the same fashion, former Wildcats Eddie Brown (Mississippi State), Joey Wade (Southern Miss), Lavester Ray (Southern Miss), Traveon Houston (Jones County Junior College), Jaelean Brown (Mississippi College) and Gabari Naylor, who announced he is joining the United States Navy. While the six Meridian football players did not receive football scholarships, Hampton acknowledged them for fulfilling their graduation requirements and for having already been accepted to their respective institutions.

“People have things misconstrued when it comes to student-athletes,” Hampton said. “You can make all the plays and all the shots you want to, but at the end of the day, you have to go to class. I have a 21-year-old son in college right now playing ball, and he has to go to class every day — he has to be there. And that’s the part most people don’t understand. I want to honor the guys who are receiving academic scholarships and who are being accepted to college. Those are young men we’re taking off the streets. They won’t be on the streets, and they won’t be a statistic.”

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