Preseason watch list for Mississippi’s 2021 Mr. Football

It’s hard to believe it, but the 2021 Mississippi high school football season has arrived.

With games kicking off across the state, here’s a list of 60 players – 10 in each classification – to keep an eye on as we move through the season. Players on our preseason Mr. Football watch list were chosen by SBLive senior reporter Tyler Cleveland based on last year’s production and projected success in the coming year.

CLASS 6A PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Kabe Barnett – Senior – Oak Grove

Kabe Barnett
(Photo by Keith Warren)

Completed 160 of 258 passes (62%) for 2,384 yards (199 ypg) with 36 touchdowns and five interceptions last season. Barnett capped off the season by completing a two-point conversion with seven seconds left to lift Oak Grove to a 29-28 win over Oxford in the 6A state title game.

QB Christian Turner – Junior – Harrison Central

Completed 142 of 218 passes (65%) for 2,248 yards (204 ypg) with 27 touchdowns and three interceptions last season.

QB Michael Harvey – Senior – Oxford

Completed 96 of 178 passes (54%) for 1,461 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions as a junior last season.

RB Branson Robinson – Senior – Germantown

Averaged 9.7 yards on 121 carries for 1,179 yards with 15 touchdowns in nine games as a junior last season.

QB Bray Hubbard – Junior – Ocean Springs

Averaged 7.2 yards on 143 carries for 1,026 yards with 10 touchdowns in 10 games as a junior last season.

RB D’mariun Perteet – Senior – South Panola

Averaged 6.8 yards on 130 carries for 878 yards with 15 touchdowns in nine games as a junior last season.

RB Cam Marion – Senior – Northwest Rankin

(Photo by Keith Warren)

Averaged 5.3 yards on 261 carries for 1,384 yards and 17 touchdowns in 11 games as a junior last season.

WR Tyrell Pollard – Senior – Oak Grove

Caught 50 passes for 987 yards with 15 touchdowns in 11 games as a junior last season.

DB Jaylen Aborom – Junior – Oak Grove

Credited with 61 total tackles with six interceptions, two forced fumbles in 11 games as a sophomore last year.

CLASS 5A PLAYERS TO WATCH

WR Ayden Williams – Junior – Ridgeland

Caught 58 passes for 765 yards with six touchdowns in 10 games as a sophomore last season.

(Photo by Keith Warren)

DL Derrick Burgess Jr. – Senior – Lafayette

Credited with 71 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in just nine games last season.

QB Kaden Irving – Junior – Gautier

Completed 167 of 263 passes (64%) for 2,399 yards (343 ypg) with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions in seven games as a sophomore last year.

RB Dayan Bilbo – Senior – Vancleave

A workhorse who carried the ball 209 times in nine games for 1,469 yards (163 ypg) with 21 touchdowns as a junior last year.

RB Jaharon Griffin – Senior – Neshoba Central

Credited with 100 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and one forced fumble in eight games last season.

RB/DB Jerell Boyd – Senior – Holmes County Central

Averaged 9.5 yards on 110 carries for 1,042 yards and nine touchdowns in eight games last season.

RB/DB Trekyus Woodall – Senior – Lafayette

Accounted for 240 all-purpose yards and was credited with 52 total tackles, four tackles for a loss, two sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles in nine games last season.

WR/DB Khamauri Rogers – Senior – Holmes County Central

Caught 17 passes for 328 yards and six touchdowns last season. He was also credited with 30 total tackles and two interceptions on defense and handled both punting and punt-returning duties.

DL Derrick Burgess Jr. – Senior – Lafayette

Logged 71 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks with two forced fumbles in nine games as a junior last season.

LB Dalton Lee – Senior – Pearl River Central

Credited with 110 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in nine games last season.

LB Mario Wilbourn – Senior – Lafayette

Credited with 119 total tackles (90 solo) with 19 tackles for a loss, including seven sacks with four forced fumbles in 10 games last season.

CLASS 4A PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB D.J. Richardbey – Senior – Poplarville

(Photo by Keith Warren)

Averaged 7.7 yards on 177 carries for 1,360 yards with 19 touchdowns in 13 games as a junior last year.

QB Trent Singleton – Senior – Raymond

Dual-threat who completed 91 of 150 passes (61%) for 1,317 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions as a junior last year. Also rushed 262 times for 1,687 yards with 25 touchdowns.

RB Carlos Brown – Senior – Stone

Rushed 182 times for 1,315 yards with 14 touchdowns in eight games as a junior last season.

RB Tyron Holston – Senior – Poplarville

Averaged 11.9 yards per carry on 94 attempts for 1,119 yards with 11 touchdowns in 13 games last season.

RB C.J. Hill – Senior – New Albany

Averaged 7.5 yards on 165 carries for 1,230 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine games last season as a junior last year.

RB/LB Noah Cutter – Senior – Bay High

Averaged 6.6 carries on 123 rushing attempts for 815 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight games last season. Also credited with 17 total tackles, one for a loss, and averaged 37.5 yards on 18 punts.

WR Larry Simmons – Senior – Moss Point

Caught 45 passes for 747 yards with 10 touchdowns in nine games as a junior last year.

DL/LB Gowdy Jordan – Junior – West Lauderdale

Credited with 41 tackles, 14 stops behind the line and six sacks in nine games as a sophomore last season.

LB James Ford – Senior – Sumrall

Credited with 118 total tackles — including 13 for a loss — with five sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in eight games last season.

LB Jeff Smith – Senior – Louisville

Credited with 129 stops, 29 tackles for a loss, two sacks and a forced fumble in 13 games last season.

CLASS 3A PLAYERS TO WATCH

DL Roman Jackson – Senior – Noxubee County

(Photo by Keith Warren)

Credited with 60 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and one fumble recovery in 10 games last season.

QB Will Loy – Junior – Wesson

Completed 168 of 262 passes (64%) for 2,759 yards (250.8 ypg) with 39 touchdowns and three picks as a sophomore last season.

QB Kenyon Clay – Senior – Union

Completed 86 of 156 passes (55%) for 1,503 yards with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions and carried the ball 164 times for 1,300 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior last year.

QB QD Walls – Junior – North Panola

Completed 82 of 134 passes (61%) for 1,173 yards with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions in seven games as a sophomore last season.

RB Deriaun Townsend – Senior – Winona

Averaged 7.3 yards on 69 carries for 1,117 yards and 16 touchdowns in seven games last season.

RB Terrance Mack – Senior – Velma Jackson

Averaged 10.5 yards on 87 carries for 914 yards and 11 touchdowns in just seven games last season.

RB/DL Robert Jennings – Senior – Morton

Averaged 7.5 yards on 113 carries for 843 yards and 14 touchdowns last season on offense. He was also credited with 48 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles.

TE/LB J.D. Nanney – Senior – Booneville

Caught just five passes for 51 yards last season, but two of them went for touchdowns. Really shone on defense, where he was credited with 122 total stops, 10 tackles for a loss, one sack, one interceptions and one blocked kick in nine games.

LB Javon (Jody) Durr – Senior – Magee

Credited with 97 total stops, 24 tackles for a loss, five sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one blocked punt in nine regular-season games last season.

LB Collin McGowan – Senior – Wesson

Credited with 152 total tackles (102 solo) with 18 tackles for a loss in 11 games as a junior last year.

CLASS 2A PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Jackson Lee – Senior – Calhoun City

(Photo by Keith Warren)

Completed 88 of his 169 passes for 1,397 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior last season. Also rushed the ball 128 times for 589 yards and seven more scores.

QB Ty Murphy – Junior – Eupora

Racked up 1,946 yards of total offense with 16 total touchdowns in 11 games as a junior last season.

RB/LB Zy Ford – Senior – East Webster

Averaged 10.5 yards on 49 carries for 514 rushing yards with eight touchdowns in nine games last year. Also credited with 96 total tackles (65 solo) with 16 tackles for a loss and four sacks.

RB Dicenzo Miller Jr. – Senior – Kemper County

Averaged 10.2 yards on 152 carries for 1,545 yards in 10 games with 18 touchdowns as a junior last year.

RB Enrico Price – Senior – West Lincoln

Rushed 162 times for 1,292 yards in nine games (143.6 ypg) with 13 touchdowns as a junior last year.

QB/RB Josh Blake – Senior – Potts Camp

Averaged 7.4 yards on 138 attempts for 1,026 yards, scored 10 times and passed for 538 yards and eight more touchdowns in eight games last season.

WR/DB Jontavis Cunningham – Senior – East Webster

Caught 22 passes for 532 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games last season. Also credited with 18 stops and an interception on defense.

DL Quintavis Morris – Senior – East Marion

Credited with 59 stops, 10 tackles for a loss, six sacks and a fumble recovery in 11 games last season.

LB Eli Dollar – Senior – Walnut

Credited with 50 stops, seven tackles for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble in 10 games as a junior last season.

OL/DL Maddox Robertson – Senior – Nanih Waiya

Credited with 43 tackles, including one for a loss, with eight sacks (including one safety) and started on the offensive line in all 11 games last season.

CLASS 1A PLAYERS TO WATCH

LB Debyron Conerly – Junior – Lumberton

(Photo by Keith Warren)

Credited with 120 total stops, eight tackles for a loss1.4 sacks and one forced fumble in 12 games as a sophomore last season.

QB Drew Rowsey – Sophomore – Biggersville

Completed 38 of 55 passes for 622 yards and 14 touchdowns with just three interceptions as a freshman last season. Also averaged 7.8 yards on 44 carries for 343 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

QB/DL Jackson Parker – Senior – Stringer

Completed 27 of his 65 passes for 476 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions and rushed for two more scores in six games last season. He was also credited with 31 total stops, 13 tackles for a loss with one sack and one forced fumble as a junior last season.

RB Vontrez Rush – Senior – Simmons

Averaged 12.9 yards on 61 carries in just four games last season (a 197 ypg average) with nine touchdowns as a junior last season.

RB/LB Quandarius Hubbard – Senior – Mt. Olive

Rushed 104 times for 1,196 yards (11.5 ypc) with nine touchdowns in eight games last season as a junior. Also logged 57 tackles with one interception and two forced fumbles.

WR/DB Dereco Crosby – Senior – Taylorsville

Will be the Tartar’s main threat at receiver after catching just five passes for 49 yards last season. He was also credited with 18 stops and six interceptions in nine games.

RB Rye Howard – Senior – Hamilton

Averaged 4.4 yards on 223 rushing attempts for 979 yards and 15 touchdowns in 10 games last season.

RB/DB David Williams – Junior – Sebastopol

Rushed 76 times for 920 yards (12.1 ypc) with nine touchdowns in 12 games as a sophomore last season. Also credited with 42 total tackles and an interception.

RB/DB Rye Howard – Senior – Hamilton

Rushed 223 times for 979 yards (4.4 ypc) with 15 touchdowns in 10 games as a junior last season. Also credited with 24 total tackles (5 for a loss) with one sack.

RB/LB Karson Evans – Senior – Taylorsville

Tallied just 168 total yards and three touchdowns on offense, but was credited with 99 stops, four tackles for a loss and three interceptions on defense.

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