Three area players eye USM
Jan. 16, 2002
Writing words of wisdom on a Wednesday while wondering whatever happened to Trent Intorcia …
With the football recruiting season quickly closing in on National Signing Day on Feb. 6, three area players appear ready to cast their lots with the University of Southern Mississippi.
West Lauderdale defensive lineman Jared Parten (6-3, 250), Wayne County defensive lineman Willie Evans (6-2, 265), and Wayne County offensive lineman Travis Cooley (6-4, 240) have all committed to USM.
The only other football player to commit, is Neshoba Central's Scott Shurden. The place-kicker said in August that he was going to attend Mississippi State, but word is that he may be reconsidering.
So for the Bulldogs have 13 verbal commitments, including one from Ouachita Christian (La.) place-kicker Keith Andrews.
Ole Miss has seven commitments, including three defensive lineman, the position that has been the biggest concern for the Rebels in the off-season.
Among those commitments is 6-foot-5, 275-pound Larrick Womack of Northwest Mississippi Community College.
The Rebels have also got the good word from a quarterback 6-foot-6, 190-pound Ethan Flatt of David Lipscomb (Tenn.).
USM has 12 commitments so far, including tight end/wide receiver Otho Graves of Pearl River Community College.
By far the largest player to commit to any of the three schools is 6-foot-7, 360-pound offensive lineman Monte Collins of Provine High School, who has indicated he would like to be a Bulldog next year.
Golden Eagles have interesting schedule
It is good to see Jackson State back on USM's football schedule.
The two teams squared off in a good game in 1987, that saw the Golden Eagles take a hard-fought 17-7 win at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg before a crowd of 33,687.
The two teams will play again at Roberts Stadium, affectionally called "The Rock" by USM partisans, on Aug. 31.
Jackson State wanted to play the game in Jackson, but the USM folks balked so the game will be in Hattiesburg.
USM has played in-state rivals other than Mississippi State and Ole Miss before. The Golden Eagles opened the 1990 season at home with a 12-0 win over NCAA Division II foe Delta State, and followed that up with a 25-7 win over the Statesmen in 1991.
While the JSU game will be an intense one and should not be overlooked by the Golden Eagles, there will be another big game on the horizon the next week.
The University of Illinois, the defending Big Ten Champions and losers to LSU in the 2002 Sugar Bowl, will be in Hattiesburg on Sept. 7.
Bulldogs face key SEC game tonight
Winning home games seems to be ultra important in the competitive world of Southeastern Conference basketball.
After losing two straight road SEC games Arkansas and Ole Miss the Bulldogs of Mississippi State try to return to the winner's circle tonight when they host the Volunteers of Tennessee. MSU is 14-3 overall and 1-2 in SEC play, and in need of not giving up a home loss at Humphrey Coliseum.
Mississippi State depends on the slashing of Marckell Patterson and the inside play of York, Ala.'s Mario Austin. Austin struggled some at the line against Ole Miss on Saturday, while Patterson only scored four points.
The Eupora native is just 33 points shy of becoming the 24th member of the 1,000-point club at Mississippi State.