The former Lafayette High trio took a rather circuitous route to get back, but nonetheless the three ‘Dores are back on the gridiron as members of the Northeast Mississippi Community College football team.
Liggins’ tale is rather well known by football fans has he signed with LSU out of high school but did not qualify and spent the last year bouncing around before landing at NECC. Likewise, the Dennis brothers signed with Itawamba C.C. out of LHS but did not qualify.
Back on the football field now, all three are expected to contribute immediately for a Tigers team that looks like it’s on the rise for a number of reasons.
Practice started Thursday and all three ‘Dores figure to see prominent roles with the Tigers open against Copiah-Lincoln C.C. on Aug. 29.
After enrolling at NECC in January, Liggins moved around a good bit during spring drills, splitting time at defensive end, tight end and quarterback. Due in large part to the recent additions of Ole Miss signee A.J. Jackson — who did not qualify academically — and recently dismissed Auburn freshman Ricky Parks, Liggins will see the bulk of his playing time at defensive end.It’ll be the first time Liggins has seen extensive playing time on defense as he was predominantly a quarterback at LHS and only saw spot duty at rover/safety in big games. Although it’s new, both Liggins and head coach Ricky Smither expect the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder to be ready by the opener. Asked if he expects the transition to take time, Liggins joked that it shouldn’t because he doesn’t have any bad habits since he’s completely new to the position. Smither went as far as to say that Liggins — potential wise — could be an NFL defensive end. That’s high praise for a player who has never put his hand in the dirt but time will tell just how good the former ‘Dore quarterback can be.
Below are a couple Vines of Liggins going through defensive lineman drills at the start of today’s practice:
Liggins said he’s taking 17 hours this semester but only needs 12 to graduate in time to enroll at Ole Miss in January. That would obviously be a huge boost for the Rebels as the sooner he’s on campus the sooner they can begin to really mold him for the next season.
Like Liggins, Jamel Dennis is penciled in as a starter at the will linebacker position, while Demarkous is in the mix at running back. The Dennis brothers aren’t as far along as Liggins as Demarkous arrived in June and Jamel in July. Although Demarkous is a bit further down the depth chart at running back, Smither said he should climb rather quickly once he gets used to pass blocking and perfects other responsibilities on the junior college level.
Below are a couple Vines of Jackson snapping and catching passes during the early portion of Friday’s practice.
In addition to the Lafayette trio, Northeast has several other interesting additions to this year’s team, not limited to Parks, Jackson, fellow Ole Miss signee Marcus Robinson, LSU quarterback Jerrard Randall, Miami Hurricane defensive tackle Dequan Ivery and others.
For more on the Lafayette trio, checkout Monday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE. (August 9, 2013)