It’s a good thing Anthony Hart has gone from being Lafayette’s head football coach to athletics director. Now he will have more time on his hands to take in community college football games across the state considering the rosters will be filled with a bevy of his former players.
Six Commodores are headed to play at Itawamba Community College next season, while a few others are sprinkled all over the rest of North Mississippi. The Indians turn out to be the biggest benefactor of Lafayette’s immense talent as they gained commitments from running back Demarkous Dennis, linebacker Jamel Dennis, defensive tackle D.Q. Reynolds, place-kicker Tyler Jackson, offensive lineman D’Andre Greer and defensive end Keeyon Tyson. All but Tyson and Greer made their verbal pledge on Monday night’s Sports Roundup Commitment Show held live at Irie on the Square.
Two other Commodores, defensive back Jeremiah Jones and tight end Dylan Gossett, chose to play for Holmes in Goodman.
“I’ll be able to go (to games) now. There are quite a few (Commodores) out there now. I won’t have to worry about Fridays so much. I think a big thing they will take wherever they go is the winning they have in them. They have always done the things that you have to do to be successful on the football field. I think wherever they go, that winning will breed a little more winning,” Hart said. “Those guys have meant a lot to me as young men and players. It feels like they are a part of my family. I’m just so happy for them that so many are getting a chance to keep playing.”
Demarkous Dennis, who rushed for 2,464 yards and scored 35 touchdowns this year, was the first of a trio of players to announce to ICC. He was followed by his brother, Jamel, who had 154 tackles and 13 sacks his senior season.
“It’s something special to keep playing with your brother,” Hart said. “They’ve spent many hours playing together as brothers. I know there is something special about those two playing together. They’re comfortable with each other and all those guys are comfortable with each other.”
Jackson appeared on stage with the Dennis brothers and he made his pick surrounded by his family, including his grandfather, Justice Court Judge Johnny Wayne McLarty, who also doubles as the team’s video coordinator. Jackson capped a successful career by scoring 95 points on the year and averaging 36.4 yards per punt. He said he enjoyed kicking field goals and extra points more than punting during Monday’s show.
“I’m going with my boy at the end, Holmes Community College,” Gossett said moments after Jones made his selection during the show. “I feel like the coaches were real. I felt like I wasn’t lied to and I like the coaching staff. I prayed about it. Me and my dad had a talk and I felt right at home. It was the place for me.”
“I prayed about it and it felt real good. I got a chance to spend some one-on-one time and get my focus and get my business done, so I picked Holmes,” Jones added about becoming a Bulldog. (January 31, 2012, Page 8)