EMCC Sends 21 Players to Next Level

By: EMCC Media Relations
By: EMCC Media Relations

SCOOBA – An additional four players from East Mississippi Community College’s 2013 NJCAA National Championship team officially put their signatures on National Letters of Intent during Wednesday’s national signing day activities held on the Scooba campus. Joining EMCC’s 17 prior signees who inked during December’s mid-year signing period for junior college transfers, a total of 21 players from the Lions’ 12-0 national title team are set to continue their football careers at the four-year level.

Wide receiver Justin Mack and defensive back Fenest Armstrong, former prep teammates at Laurel High School, are headed together to the University of West Alabama. Linebacker Laderrick Roberts (Meridian) will join former Lion running back Lakenderic Thomas (West Point) at Georgia Southern University, while defensive lineman Jamison Goins (Gulfport) chose Grambling State University.

Mack and Armstrong will join former EMCC defensive back Frank Richardson (Columbus) at West Alabama. The UWA Tigers, guided by first-year head coach Brett Gilliland, were ranked No. 24 in the final 2013 D2Football.com Top 25 national poll following an 8-3 season in which they shared the Gulf South Conference championship with North Alabama.

This past season at EMCC, Mack (6-2, 175) ranked as the Lions’ fifth-leading receiver with 29 catches and averaged a team-best 19.1 yards per reception. He also ranked third on the team with seven touchdown grabs.

As part of EMCC’s stellar defensive secondary that ranked second nationally with 30 pass interceptions as a unit a year ago, Armstrong (6-0, 195) was credited with 39 total tackles. Along with a team-most 15 pass breakups, he also picked off two passes in 2013, including a pick-six against Northeast Mississippi.

Roberts (6-0, 210) topped all EMCC defenders with 82 total tackles last season, including seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. The former Meridian High School standout also led the Lions with three fumble recoveries and added two pass interceptions from his linebacker position.

Goins (6-2, 285), who primarily backed up University of Alabama signee Jarran Reed at defensive tackle this past year in Scooba, previously spent the 2012 season playing for Delta State University. The former Gulfport High School product totaled 15 tackles in a reserve role for the 2013 Lions, including three stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Under the guidance of sixth-year head football coach Buddy Stephens, the 2013 and 2011 NJCAA Champion EMCC Lions have averaged sending 22 players per year to the four-year level dating back to the 2008 campaign.



FENEST ARMSTRONG (6-0, 195, DB, Laurel [MS] HS) – University of West Alabama

JAMISON GOINS (6-2, 285, DL, Gulfport [MS] HS) – Grambling State University

JUSTIN MACK (6-2, 175, WR, Laurel [MS] HS) – University of West Alabama

LADERRICK ROBERTS (6-0, 210, LB, Meridian [MS] HS) – Georgia Southern University


MID-YEAR TRANSFERS (December Graduates)

ANTOINNE ADKINS (5-10, 180, WR, Meridian [MS] HS) – University of Louisiana at Lafayette

KENNEY AVERHART (6-3, 315, OL, Columbus [MS] HS) – Albany State (Ga.) University

TERRENCE BARRON (5-9, 165, WR, Noxubee County HS – Georgia State University (walk-on)

C.J. BATES (6-2, 190, WR, Louisville [MS] HS) – University of Louisiana at Lafayette

BRANDON BELL (6-2, 210, WR, Columbus, MS/Heritage Academy) – Ole Miss (walk-on)

KEN BRELAND (6-0, 190, DB, Picayune Memorial [MS] HS) – Nicholls State University

BYERSON COCKRELL (6-2, 185, DB, Columbus [MS] HS) – University of Nebraska

AVERY GENNESY (6-5, 305, OL, Southaven [MS] HS) – Texas A&M University

JIMMIE GIPSON III (6-0, 250, DL, Olive Branch [MS] HS) – University of South Alabama

D.J. PETTWAY (6-3, 250, DL, Pensacola, FL) – University of Alabama

DONTREAL PRUITT (5-11, 175, QB, Laurel [MS] HS) – Troy University

JARRAN REED (6-5, 310, DL, Goldsboro, NC) – University of Alabama

CHRISTIAN RUSSELL (6-1, 235, LB, Fayetteville, NC) – Ole Miss

BLAKE SHARP (6-4, 270, OL, Columbus, MS/Heritage Academy) – Louisiana Tech University

A.J. STAMPS (6-0, 190, DB, Vicksburg [MS] HS) – University of Kentucky

LAKENDERIC THOMAS (5-10, 210, RB, West Point [MS] HS) – Georgia Southern University

JORRELL THURMON (6-0, 200, WR, Florence [MS] HS) – Stillman College

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