Pearl River football welcomes incoming signing class
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River football program focused on quality over quantity with its 2022 signing class. Head coach Seth Smith announced the addition of 12 new Wildcats on National Signing Day.
PRCC returns a large portion of its 2021 roster and as a result its 2022 signing class has a limited number of available spots.
This year's class features Southwestern Oklahoma State transfer quarterback Manuel Armstrong, Jefferson Davis running back Demarrio Booth Jr., Poplarville offensive lineman Conner Davis, PHS linebacker Ahmad Harmon, Presbyterian Christian School defensive lineman Damion Gooden, Columbia receiver Kentrell Jackson, Vigor (Ala.) defensive lineman Ryan Kidd, Hattiesburg defensive back Kamron Norwood, Terry cornerback Kaleb Patterson, Samford transfer quarterback Lawson Pratt, Columbia offensive lineman Jason Townsend and d'Iberville defensive back Caleb Williams.
MANUEL ARMSTRONG The Wildcats added a unique skillset to its QB group with the signature of Armstrong. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Armstrong joins PRCC after spending two seasons at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he redshirted. Armstrong prepped at McDonogh 35 in New Orleans.
"Manny is a dual threat QB who enrolled here in January," PRCC coach Seth Smith said. "He has tremendous speed and is very elusive in the pocket. He also has the arm strength and accuracy to stretch the ball down the field. His age, experience and athletic ability only enhance a QB room that we feel can be a strength of our team this year."
DEMARRIO BOOTH JR. Booth is one of many state champions in PRCC's incoming class. Booth was a driver in Jefferson Davis' 42-10 romp of Amory in the MHSAA Class 3A title game, rushing for 205 yards and four touchdowns — including runs of 62, 32, 1and 44 yards; Booth also intercepted a pass in the MVP performance.
Following the season, Booth was named to the Mississippi Association of Coaches Class 3A First Team offense.
Booth finished his senior season with 1,041 yards rushing, 412 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns.
In addition to winning the state championship as a senior, Booth was also on JDC's 2019 title team.
"Demarrio, is yet another State Champ added to our team. He played for legendary Coach Lance Mancuso at Jefferson Davis and all this young man knows is winning," Smith said. "He has great speed and vision and is very explosive in space. His dynamic versatility will allow us to use him at multiple positions. He is a winner and brings a toughness and winning mindset to our team."
CONNER DAVIS At 6-foot-3, 315 pounds, Davis will provide plenty of depth at the tackle position. In addition to size, Davis brings a winning pedigree to his hometown team. Like fellow signee Harmon, Davis featured on one of the state's most consistent programs for four seasons, helping to lead the Hornets to three MHSAA Class 4A South State Championships and a 43-15 overall record.
In the trenches, Davis helped the run-heavy Hornets rush for 4,050 yards and 45 touchdowns.
Following his senior season, Davis was named to the Mississippi Association of Coaches Class 4A All-State First Team. He was also a Sun Herald's All-South Mississippi Team honorable mention and played in the Bernard Blackwell Classic All-Star Game.
"Conner adds instant credibility to our O-line," Smith said. "He is a winner and comes from a championship program. He has tremendous size and ball get off. His filmed showed that he is one of the most physical blockers in the state.
"He will add an immediate impact to our O-line."
Additionally, Davis gained notoriety across the region after his senior portrait gained viral notoriety. The image featured the lineman pouring syrup on a stack of pancakes.
DAMION GOODEN Gooden was a force for PCS as a senior, racking up 54 tackles, 22 tackles-for-loss, 10 sacks, four fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. The performance earned Gooden a spot on the All-MAIS Class 6A first team defense as well as the Pine Belt Sports All-Area Team. He also participated in the Magnolia State and MAIS all-star games.
As a junior, Gooden totaled 50 tackles for the Bobcats with four sacks and 11 QB hurries.
"Damion has great feet and size," Smith said. "He is extremely active across the interior DLine. Although we return most of our defensive front, he will add instant depth to our defensive line.
"His size up front can have an immediate impact."
AHMAD HARMON Harmon broke out as a senior, leading PHS with 137 tackles along with one sack, an interception and three passes defended.
Harmon's senior performance earned him a spot on the MAC's All-Class 4A First Team. Harmon was an honorable mention for the Sun Herald's All-South Mississippi Team. He also played in the Bernard Blackwell Classic All-Star Game.
"Ahmad just like Conner comes from one of the winningest programs in the state," Smith said. "All these young men know are winning. His speed and nose for the football will fit seamlessly is our defense.
"He is a great tackler and plays with a high motor."
KENTRELL JACKSON Jackson played a large role in Columbia's MHSAA Class 4A Championship run. The athletic receiver caught 11 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 66 yards and two scores; he also racked up 145 yards returning punts, finding the end zone once.
Jackson was named to the MAC's All-Class 4A Second Team as a kick returner and also starred in the Magnolia State All-Star Game.
"Kentrell's a state champion. He's another young man who will come in Day 1 knowing how to win," Smith said. "We are extremely excited about adding Kentrell. He's a Swiss Army knife and can play multiple positions. He's a great tackler on defense and electric on offense. Simply put, he's a football player and a very tough one at that."
RYAN KIDD Kidd is the only out-of-state signee in the class, hailing from Vigor High in Prichard, Alabama.
As a senior, the 6-foot-1, 287-pound Kidd finished his senior season with 37 total tackles to go along with one sack and four TFLs. His Vigor Wolves claimed Alabama's Class 4A Championship.
"Ryan's film was as good as anybody we evaluated on the defensive line," Smith said. "He plays sideline to sideline and is extremely physical. He's another young man who was a part of a state championship this year; he's another winner who will have an immediate impact."
KAMRON NORWOOD Norwood was an important athlete for the Hattiesburg Tigers as a senior, seeing time at receiver while primarily playing defensive back. Norwood finished the 2021 campaign with 37 tackles, five pass break ups and one interception.
Norwood was named to the MAC's All-Class 5A First Team and also played in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic.
"Speed, speed and speed come to mind when describing Kam," Smith said. "We like to play man coverage and we feel like he can run with anybody in this league. I can't wait to watch him develop under Coach (TaRon) Sims' tutelage.
"His elite speed with Coach Sims' content knowledge will be a great pair."
KALEB PATTERSON At 6-2, Patterson will add size to PRCC's defensive backfield. As a senior, Patterson helped lock down his portion of the field and finished the 2021 campaign with 35 tackles, one interception and two passes defended.
Following the season, Patterson was named to the All-Region 3-6A team. He also participated in the Magnolia State All-Star Game.
"Kaleb has an SEC frame. He is a long and lean DB. He's another young man with a tremendous upside who we can't wait to watch soar with Coach Sims.
"6-foot-2 with speed is a combination we are extremely excited about adding to our defensive backfield."
LAWSON PRATT Pratt is the second transfer quarterback in PRCC's class. The 6-foot, 195-pound Pratt initially signed with Samford after a prolific prep career at American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In high school, Pratt passed for 7,021 yards and 73 touchdowns before joining the Bulldogs.
247Sports rated Pratt as a three-star prospect and the No. 52 dual-threat quarterback in the country. According to the website, Pratt chose Samford over offers from Austin Peay, Jacksonville State, South Alabama and others.
"Lawson is a great dual-threat QB who brings instant credibility to our team," Smith said. "He is a coach's kid who brings a high level of experience and content knowledge to the QB position. He had a heralded high school career in the state of Alabama and was the West Alabama Player of the Year."
JASON TOWNSEND Townsend is a mountain of a man at 6-foot-4, 359 pounds. The reliable tackle helped the 4A Champion Columbia pass for 1,557 yards and 18 touchdowns while also rushing for 2,650 and 36 scores.
Townsend was named to the MAC Class 4A All-State Team and participated in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic.
"Another state champ, another winner added to our roster," Smith said. "We are going get this thing turned around and we feel like bringing in guys who already have a winning mindset only help expedite the process.
"He is a big physical man upfront on the o-line that we can wait to watch fire off that ball in August."
CALEB WILLIAMS Williams led the Region 4-6A champion Warriors as a senior with 90 tackles to go along with 7.5 TFLs, three interceptions and nine passes defended. Williams factored into all three phases of the game for DHS. The senior rushed 14 times for 72 yards, caught four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown and also returned eight punts for 148 yards and a touchdown.
Williams picked up plenty of honors following the standout season. He was named to the MAC All-State and Region 4-6A teams, plus the Sun Herald's All-South Mississippi team and Clarion-Ledger's All-State squad.
Williams finished his prep career with 255 total tackles, four interceptions, six fumble recoveries and 14 passes defended.
"Caleb is a safety who comes downhill and hits like a linebacker," Smith said. "He is a tough, physical football player. He adds a relentless, physical motor to our defensive secondary and is another young man who has been a part of a lot winning throughout his high school career." For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).