Oak Grove’s ultra-talented defensive duo of Jaden Crumedy and Hayes Maples is headed to the Division I level.
Crumedy chose Mississippi State, while Maples opted to stay closer to home at Southern Miss. They made it official Wednesday morning.
“I’m very proud,” Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey said. “They’ve both worked extremely hard to get to where they are, to be able to sign with two really good Division I programs. Couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Crumedy, a four-star defensive lineman, had been committed to the Bulldogs since early October prior to the departure of Dan Mullen. Despite that, Crumedy remained solid and comfortable with Mississippi State, especially after getting to know new head coach Joe Moorhead.
“We just got off the phone yesterday,” Crumedy said. “We’ve been texting and stuff. He’s a really good guy.”
“It feels real good,” Crumedy added. “Just being able to really commit to my favorite team.”
Like Crumedy, Hayes Maples had been committed to his school before signing day. Maples, a 6-foot-2 linebacker, chose the Golden Eagles back in June and officially put pen to paper on Wednesday.
“It’s a great opportunity to play in my hometown,” Maples said. “To play college football, I couldn’t pass it up.”
Putting on the Black and Gold and playing at M.M. Roberts Stadium has actually been Maples’ dream for quite some time.
“Ever since I could go to the games,” Maples said with a smile.
As a whole, Maples and Crumedy combined for 225 total tackles this past season. Crumedy finished with 13 quarterback sacks, while Maples added two interceptions. Their chemistry on the defensive side should not come as a surprise.
“We started off together in middle school,” Crumedy said. “I played tight end a little bit, and he played tight end, too.”
Now they head to different schools, in-state ones at that, which Causey and company is thankful for.
“Selfishly, that’s what I like about both of them, because Southern Miss is right here, five minutes up the road. We’ll get to watch Hayes play a lot of games the next four years,” Causey said. “Then Jaden going to Mississippi State, that’s just a three-hour drive, so that’s not bad. Get to make that trip a few times a year and go watch him play. It’s just going to be really exciting to be able to watch both of those guys.”