CLARKSDALE- Head Coach Steven Miller and his coaching staff have made it their top priority to work harder and faster for a big bounce-back season in 2019. They journeyed up and down the nation to hunt down the best fit for their breakout team this fall. The program delighted in a very productive "National Signing Day," recently adding 25 players to the roster. The athletes joined "Rise of Tiger Nation" with great enthusiasm.
Head Recruiting Coordinator Charles Lee diligently conducted a great deal of evaluation with much consideration to the outcome of the 2018 season. He proceeded to take a different approach to the recruiting process. Coahoma decided to focus on team needs to develop depth in all positions.
"Our goal is to focus on filling the needs this season," said Lee. "We looked at areas that hurt us during the season. We feel good that we recruited the players that fill in our needs during the season."
Coahoma has hit the ground running after getting some reliable offensive protection upfront. The new offensive linemen added to the roster are Gary Alexander (Gulfport, MS), Darius Baker (Collins, MS), Zharion Carson (Canton, MS), Thomas Simmons (Canton, MS) and Tyson Smith (Tunica, MS).
"The number one thing you need to have to win championships is a good offensive line," said Lee.
The Tigers continued strengthening their offense by recruiting wide receivers Alvin Haynes (Louisville, MS), Markevius Phillips (Clarksdale, MS) and Josh Stevenson (Olive Branch, MS).
They also signed running backs Dez Amos (Magnolia, MS)) and Keaundre McCollough (Belzoni, MS).
Coahoma searched for a good defense capable of making big plays. The staff sought to enhance that unit, bringing aboard defensive lineman Tavion Young (Gulfport, MS).
Alexander Jordan (Batesville, MS), Stephen Tisdale (Tylertown, MS) and Jawonta Woodruff (Cleveland, MS) are big additions to the Tigers' linebacking core.
Coahoma's biggest need is in the secondary. Therefore, six defensive backs with the potential to immediately make an impact for Coahoma were signed. Dontae Gillespie (Columbus, MS), Marcus Glenn (Louisville, MS), C.J. Johnson (Biloxi, MS), Aikee Matthews (Clarksdale, MS), Jordan Montgomery (Biloxi, MS) and Rodney Williams (Macon, MS) possess the talent to make big plays. They could, undoubtedly, drive the team's defense to the next level in the upcoming season.
The Tigers also took in some skilled players that are able to play multiple positions. Kolbey Esland (Tunica, MS), JaCobeyon Lane (Rolling Fork, MS), Cam Loveberry (Senatobia, MS), Brandon Smith (Gulfport, MS) and Rorecoss Willis (Yazoo City, MS) are ready to make an impact on both sides of the ball.
The Coahoma Football program was looking to make an impact locally by recruiting in their own backyard. Phillips, who was found at Coahoma County High School, Matthews, who will be coming from Clarksdale High), Esland, Tyson Smith (Rosa Fort), Jordan (South Panola) and Woodruff (Cleveland Central) chose to stay close to home and Tiger Nation anticipates welcoming them.
"We really love to promote our local schools and it's huge when their athletes come to Coahoma," said Lee. "Clarksdale and Coahoma County always has some great talent. Ricky Smither and Jock Williams have made a huge impact at Cleveland Central. The Mississippi Delta overall has a lot of diamonds in the rough."
Coahoma brings in another major Division I transfer. Guy Thomas is a Defensive End from the University of Nebraska. He brings a whole lot of experience playing in the Big Ten Conference.
Coahoma Football had a few of their own players to sign to four-year colleges.
Donnie Corley (Wide Receiver) signed with Texas Southern after transferring to Coahoma from Michigan State University.
Fred Wash (Defensive Line) and Jaylin Jones (Running Back) have both took the necessary steps to become part of Choctaw Nation at Mississippi College.
Tony Bowman, a Defensive End, agreed to join Bethune-Cookman University's squad in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Caleb Sampson (Defensive End) has signed with the University of Kansas. Antawn Lewis (Offensive Line) will further his football career at Louisiana Tech University and Myron Norfleet has planned to continue pursuing his education while playing football at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
The players' achievements come as no surprise being that Head Coach Steven Miller has handed over more than 30 players to four-year institutions during his tenure.
The Tigers deeply crave redemption during the 2019 season.
"Everything didn't go our way last season. You have to have the pieces to build a very nice car," said Lee. "We want our young men to come to Coahoma, be a productive citizen, get an education and go to the school of their choice. I feel that the Coahoma Football coaching staff is doing their job."