Eight sophomore members of the Pearl River Community College football team have signed scholarship offers to complete their playing careers at the next level.
The eight signees were part of a group of 14 December graduates from the PRCC varsity who earned their associate’s degrees and will enroll at their respective four-year colleges in January.
“These young men have all been valuable contributors to the PRCC program,” said Wildcat head coach David Saunders. “They have worked extremely hard both on the field and in the classroom to get where they are today. We are very proud of what they have accomplished.”
Topping the list of signees Wednesday on the first day of the early signing period was quarterback D.J. Gillins, who signed with SMU.
Gillins transferred to Pearl River from Wisconsin and earned the starting job as quarterback in the spring only to see his season end prematurely after suffering a knee injury in the Wildcats’ 2016 season opener at Northeast.
In his only game for PRCC, Gillins completed 18 of 29 passes for 165 yards, and rushed eight times for 55 yards. Nevertheless, he was rated as the No. 2 dual-threat junior college quarterback in the nation by 24/7 Sports.
Also signing after just one season with the Wildcats was wide receiver Matthew Eaton, who signed with Iowa State. Eaton, a transfer from Temple, led PRCC with 37 catches for 392 yards and two touchdowns. He was ranked seventh among JuCo receivers by 24/7 Sports.
Offensive lineman Kelton Brown signed with UAB after being ranked No. 4 among junior college guards by 24/7 Sports. Tight end Sloan Spiller, who caught 14 passes for 168 yards and three TDs after transferring from UTEP, signed with Louisiana-Monroe, and 1,000-yard rusher Darious Leggett signed to play for Mississippi College.
Defensively, Keyshaun Simmons, a two-year starter for the Wildcats at defensive end, signed to play for Kansas. In his two seasons at PRCC, Simmons had 99 tackles, including 60 solos and 9.5 for loss.
Another Wildcat defensive standout who signed early was linebacker Randy Hogan, who will play for Louisiana Tech. Hogan led PRCC with 98 tackles this season, after recording 59 as a freshman.
Also, defensive back Cornelius Dortch signed with Arkansas Tech.
Other Wildcat players who graduated this month were tight end Will Inlow, defensive back Gerrell Keaton, quarterback Andrew Dunn, tight end Darius Kennedy, wide receiver Troy Cobb and running back Caleb Kinlaw.
Additionally, practice squad sophomores Jordan Jackson and Quinten Hogan earned their associate’s degrees this month.