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Meridian lands 10 players on college football rosters

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Feb. 8, 2001
National signing day got started with a bang in Meridian Tuesday morning as all 10 Meridian High School Wildcats projected to sign national letters of intent were on hand in the MHS library to signal the official beginning of their playing careers on the next level.
Wildcat head football coach Bill Sartin began by introducing linebacker Jeremy Ruffin and wide receiver Mario Hill, who are both headed to Ole Miss to play for Rebels' head coach David Cutcliffe.
Daniel Spinks signed with the University of North Alabama.
East Mississippi Community College got all seven of its projected prospects, including tight end Tyler Richardson, split end Fines Tate, offensive linemen Robert Williams, Braz Coleman and Frank Edwards, defensive back Otis Bumpers and defensive tackle/fullback Eddie Moss.
Wednesday saw a few more area football players sign on the dotted line to continue their football careers as well. Among those not listed in Wednesday's edition of The Meridian Star, Noxubee County defensive tackle Jonathan Brandy inked with Jackson State.
Also, Wayne Academy officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Ryan McCaa will ink with Jones County Junior College on Friday.
Wednesday evening, Wayne County head coach Marcus Boyles reported that linebackers Cordell Blakely, Trevor Moore and running back Thomas Payton will also become Bobcats in Friday's special ceremony.
From Winston Academy, Wesley Wright confirmed his commitment to East Central one local junior college that racked up in a big way Wednesday.
The Decatur school signed 16 players from the Meridian Star's coverage area.
Several of the current Warriors signed letters-of-intent with four-year colleges and universities during a special ceremony at the Brackeen-Wood Building.
Tight end/defensive end Quentin Bowers will go on to become a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, while Randy Brunson signed with Nicholls State; LaKendrick Houston, a linebacker for the Warriors, inked with Mississippi Valley State.
Defensive back D'Angelo Lewis goes to Southern (La.) University, while last year's Warrior quarterback Mitchell McKinnon will join Northeast Oklahoma State.
Among locals who left Decatur for four-year institutions in December, former Newton County standout Terrance Wansley is now attending Arkansas-Monticello, along with Union's Rashad Blalock.
Some East Mississippi Community College players heading to bigger schools were: tight end Marvin Nickson, who made the jump to UA-Birmingham, while his teammate Thad Cribbs, a defensive back, will help shore up that spot for Jeff Bowers' Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Another Lion heading to Hattiesburg is defensive end Carlos Crusoe.
Louisville High had a couple of players who were still on the fence as of Tuesday.
Linebacker Marquess Ledbetter decided to attend the University of Utah, while Jermaine Miller opted to double sign with ECCC and Troy State.
Ken Triplett also decided to become a TSU Trojan, according to late word from LHS head coach Tony Stanford.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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