Junior Colleges

Gulf Coast hopes 2017 signing class can make immediate impact

MGCCC head coach Chad Huff yells at his players during the second quarter of their game against PRCC at A.L. May Stadium in Parkinson on Saturday Oct. 22, 2016. The Bulldogs announced a 38-player signing class on Wednesday.
MGCCC head coach Chad Huff yells at his players during the second quarter of their game against PRCC at A.L. May Stadium in Parkinson on Saturday Oct. 22, 2016. The Bulldogs announced a 38-player signing class on Wednesday. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College didn’t need to venture far from home to fill up its 2017 signing class.

The Bulldogs released a 38-player signing class Wednesday evening with 17 standouts hailing from South Mississippi.

“It’s a great day. Our coaches did a great job of spotlighting a lot of great players,” MGCCC coach Chad Huff said. “There’s a lot of really good players we picked up. I thought we did a really good job this year on the Coast.

“This is a day for our coaches and families and community college to celebrate and be proud.”

The Bulldogs’ South Mississippi signees include Stone’s Terrion Avery, Nick Brown, Mason Hunt and R’Tarriun Johnson; Gautier’s Dominic Blankenship, Justin Scott and Deandre Torrey; Gulfport’s Nick Dunomes, Lucious Tyson and D.J. Stevenson; Biloxi’s Jiles Bradfield and Tyler Price; Harrison Central’s Jacob Shoemaker and Calvin Hunter; George County’s J.J. Lawrence; Moss Point’s Marquis Peairs; and D’Iberville’s D.J. Polk. Former St. Martin standout and All-South Mississippi selection Kalem Reddix was an early enrollee at MGCCC and was not included on the team’s official release.

Other signees included Newton’s Austin Adams and Dayreke Snow; Columbus’ Derrick Beckom; Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Akial Byers; McComb’s Lucky Davis’ Puckett’s Sedevyn Gray; Union’s Tradarius Harris; Clinton’s Jacobi Hearn, Sidney Wells and Jordyn Leonard; Tri-County Academy’s Beau Johnson; West Marion’s Damien Johnson; Brandon’s Lakendrick Jones and Corey Proctor; Hattiesburg’s Chandler Phillips; Baldwin County’s Benard Porter; Meridian’s Antjuan Rogers; Pelahatchie’s Keldrick Stokes; Laurel’s Tyquan Ulmer and Darius Townsend; and Clarksdale’s James Washup.

Recruitniks may recognize Byers’ name. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive tackle was an Alabama commit before inking with MGCCC.

“He was a good pickup for us,” Huff said. “He’ll mesh with a lot of our other good linemen.”

He’ll join former Auburn signee Daquan Newkirk and Louisville signee Mike Boykin as anchors up front.

Another player of note is Ulmer, who played both receiver and quarterback at Laurel. Huff expects him to add versatility to the Bulldogs’ offense.

Special teamers don’t always make the headlines, but Huff was particularly proud of his new punter and kicker. MGCCC had to replace on of the NJCAA’s top kicker/punter duos in Joshua Rowland (Texas) and Tyler Flathau (Arkansas State). Huff believes Hunt and Johnson can step in and provide reliable special teams snaps from Day 1.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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