Five from Tupelo sign on NSD 2018

DE/LB Peter Gray (University of Texas at San Antonio) and LB Jett Johnson (Mississippi State University) made their early decisions back in December but Tupelo High School football brought their overall signing class total to seven with five more student-athletes on National Signing Day 2018 this morning.

  • WR Sirmarcus Evans – Northeast Mississippi Community College
  • DL Kerry McKenzie – Itawamba Community College
  • OLB Jake Morris – Holmes Community College
  • OL DJ Rudd – Itawamba Community College
  • Kicker/Pitcher Josh Smith – East Mississippi Community College (football/baseball)

Evans (5′ 10′, 160 lbs) rushed 26 times for 247 yards… had 25 receptions for 529 yards and four TDs. He was also instrumental as Tupelo’s top punt returner for two seasons and chosen MAC 6A All-State 2nd Team punt returner.

On defense, McKenzie (6’3″, 200 lbs) concluded 2018 with 2.5 tackles per game and five sacks. He helped Tupelo finish with the 2nd best defense in 6A (11.58 PAPG).

Morris (5’10”, 180 lbs) was one of the most dynamic players in Tupelo’s secondary. Last season, Morris finished 62 tackles (47 solo), four sacks, and one interception. He was also selected to the Div. 1-6A LB 1st Team.

Rudd (5’11”, 240 lbs) played a pivotal role in helping anchor the Wave’s offensive line. He and his fellow linemen helped THS gain a total of 540 yards (416 rushing, 124 passing) in a win at Brandon High School last September. Tupelo put up more points on offense (35.33 PPG) than any other 6A team in 2017. Rudd played in the 2017 North/South All-Star game and was also selected to the Div. 1-6A OL 1st Team.

Smith (5’11”, 150 lbs) finished his senior campaign with 73 kickoffs (43 touchbacks), 46 of 47 PATs, 9 of 11 FGs, and averaged 40.7 yards on each punt (inside the 20-yard line 15 times). Smith was also the North Offensive MVP in this year’s North/South All-Star game, MAC 6A All-State 1st Team punter, and Div. 1-6A Kicker of the Year. In addition to football at EMCC, Josh will also play baseball for the Lions.

With today’s signings, Tupelo head coach Trent Hammond has had 32 football players sign to play on the next level since arriving at Tupelo in 2013.


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