PRC football athletes prepared to make impact in college

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Pearl River Central Blue Devils’ football program will be sending two athletes to the next level to pursue their dreams of playing college football.

DJ Ruff signed with Murray State and Kevin Wilcox signed with Pearl River Community College to play on those respective football teams.

Head Coach Jacob Owen said the two players were the first signees he’s had since taking over the program in April 2018, with Ruff being the first athlete to sign for a D1 program in years.

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The players excelled on the field and in the classroom in order to earn the opportunity to play in college.

Owen said he and his staff do a good job of preparing the players physically and mentally to be successful at the next level.

“They’re not only getting what they need to be successful players, but to also be successful in life. That’s the overall goal here,” Owen said.

The players were chosen by their respective schools because the coaching staffs there believed they’d be assets to the team.

Not only does it signal the next step for Wilcox and Ruff, but also shows younger players coming through the program there are opportunities to play college ball.

Owen said the younger athletes now understand the amount of work necessary to receive a college scholarship offer, which could inspire them to work even harder over the coming years.

“I believe it certainly motivates them. They see they can reach their goals here in Carriere of playing at the next level,” Owen said.

Wilcox and Ruff could be the first of many players signing with colleges as Owen’s program continues to grow.

A coach’s impact on the life of their player can’t be understated.

The coach is responsible for grooming the athlete to be the best they can in their respective sport, while also providing lessons and leadership the athletes can use later on in life.

Owen said he and his staff are just doing their jobs in preparing players for success after high school.

“It takes a village to raise a child. Myself and all the other coaches play a small part in helping people. That’s why you get into coaching is to help people,” Owen said.