Four local players headed to Hattiesburg

Published 1:30 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

After a relatively quiet National Signing Day locally last year, things will be much different in Pearl River County this week.

As many as seven local players, including a pair of prep standouts, are expected to sign football scholarships with Division IA teams Wednesday.

In addition, at least four of that group are expected to join head coach Jeff Bower’s Southern Mississippi squad.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The local class is headed by Picayune’s James Brady and Poplarville’s Ike Bowden, both of whom will cast their lot with the Golden Eagles.

Brady, a 6-foot-2 offensive tackle, helped Maroon Tide running back Albert Richard rush for over 2,000 yards and more than 30 touchdowns on the year.

Brady was the only senior on the Picayune line, and provided key vetern leadership as Picayune went 11-1 and fell in the South State semifinals.

Bowden, a versatlie 5-11, 175 back, guided the Hornets into the state Class 4A playoffs as well including helping Poplarville earn its first ever playoff win in Class 4A.

Bowden ran for over 1,000 yards as a running back, but was also dangerous out of the backfield as a reciever as well.

In addition, he was a standout on defense as well for his secondary spot, and made several keys plays on special teams as a kick returner.

Pearl River Community College’s Julius Gray and Gene Anderson are just two of a handful of Wildcats expected to sign scholarships on National Signing Day.

Both Gray, an offensive lineman, and Anderson, a defensive back, have committed to USM as well.

The duo helped the Wildcats to a fourth straight state juco title and a berth in the national championship game for the second time in three years.

Mike Greco (South Florida), Carlton Hill (Central Florida) and Demetrius Byrd (LSU) are among the other PRCC players expected to sign on Wednesday.

PRCC head coach Tim Hatten is also expected to ink a full class this week also.