National Signing Day is always a whirl wind. Coaches spend months collecting data and going off campus to high schools across the region to seek out prospective players. The most difficult part about it is that nothing is official until signing day. Coaches spend hours on the phone with players and can only speculate what players are going to do until the letter of intent is signed.
This year National Signing Day was Feb. 1. The coaches and I met upstairs in the Mayo Fieldhouse that entire morning and waited on the faxes to come through. Twenty-three letters of intent were signed that day and that put head coach Gene Murphy in a very good mood. The biggest signee of the day happened to be Tylan Morton. Morton is a quarterback from Griffin, Ga. He broke the single season passing record in Georgia this past year by throwing for 4,741 yards.
We had five of our own players from Hinds to sign with four-year colleges. Dailyn Patton signed with the University of West Alabama. The freshman defensive lineman had 13 tackles this season and had one tackle for a loss. Desmond Hawkins signed with the University of Memphis. Hawkins, a Memphis native, had 28 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack from his defensive tackle position. Kevin Ratliff, a 2016 All-State selection, signed with Northwestern State University. The sophomore safety had 75 tackles, two tackles for loss and four pass break-ups this past season. Ty Harris signed with the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The sophomore receiver had eight receptions for 124 yards this past season. Donovan Carter signed with McNeese State University. Carter started every game at tackle for the Eagle offensive line this past season and is known for his excellent footwork.