Tony Vance calls Hattiesburg’s current senior class a “super class”, so it’s no surprise to see many from it get the opportunity to play at the next level. Eight Tigers signed with junior colleges on Wednesday.
“I can’t say enough about them,” Vance said. “One of the biggest things was they stuck together through tough times. They didn’t win a game as ninth graders, but they didn’t quit or give up. They finished with 36 wins in their high school career. Very talented group, and I’m looking forward to keeping up with their careers.”
Darius Ruffin is headed to play wide receiver at Northwest Community College. Ruffin says he’s been told for years that he’s too short at 5-foot-10 to play the position. But the production doesn’t lie. He led Hattiesburg in every receiving category this past season.
“A lot of people said I wasn’t recruited because I wasn’t tall enough,” Ruffin said. “Playing the receiver position, I feel like all my life I’ve proved them wrong, and I’m gonna continue to prove them wrong each and every day with my hard work and dedication.”
Defensive backs Tadrian Leflore and Jadarrius Perkins inked with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Leflore picked off two passes at safety for the Tigers this past season, while Perkins proved to be a shutdown corner. Both are excited to continue playing together.
“I love that man to death,” Leflore said of Perkins. “He’s a great teammate.”
A couple of other Tigers will also be teaming up at the next level. Linebacker Ra’Sheim Jordan, kicker Gayden Hence, and linemen Christian Turner and Eric Handy are all headed to Pearl River Community College. Jordan finished tied for the team lead in quarterback sacks this past season. He says expectations will be high for the group in Poplarville.
“We’re gonna make big things happen,” Jordan said. “That’s our mindset. Gotta grind every day and stay focused.”
Running back Drexlan Allen is taking his talents to Copiah-Lincoln Community College. A one-time Florida Atlantic commit, Allen put together a 1000-yard season this past year with the Tigers.