March 19, 2006

Good turnout for Hattiesburg event

HATTIESBURG, Miss.- More than 130 prospects from six states attended the Rivals.com Junior Day Saturday at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The event, which featured an educational presentation on the recruiting process by coach Joe Hornback, took place on two different campus locales, the Golden Eagles new athletic center in the end zone of M.M. Roberts Stadium and also in the USM Student Union.

Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway defensive end Dasmine Cathey was glad that he took the five hour drive down to Southern Miss.

"I learned that I've really got to look at my courses in the classroom," he said. "I also liked how (Hornback) demonstrated how you visit the colleges."

Several schools have been showing the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder early interest, including Mississippi State and Illinois. Cathey feels that the Bulldogs are close to offering him a scholarship and may have verbally indicated to Ridgeway head coach John Cooley that an offer is forthcoming from State.

His teammate and fellow defensive end LaGrone Shields also benefited from attending the event.

"I learned a lot," he said. "I learned how to talk to coaches and about the grades that I need to get into college and what I need to look forward to when I go to college."

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Shields is awaiting his first scholarship offer, but continues to get heavy attention from Ole Miss and has gotten letters from several other schools, including Tennessee and Clemson.

Oxford (Miss.) linebacker Johnathon Frink had several areas that he felt he benefited from.

"I learned about recruiting tactics," he said. "Also, my core grade point average and ACT score, things like that."

The event marked the first time Rivals.com has held a Junior Day event at Southern Mississippi and by all indications, it was a success. The total number of prospects in attendance topped the mark at last year's Baton Rouge Junior Day at LSU and was one of the largest turnouts ever for an inaugural event at a specific site.



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