Story by AHSAA Staff
Photos courtesy of AHSSA
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama All-Star football team comprised of 40 high school seniors for the upcoming 35th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic football game has been completed, announced Brandon Dean, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association (AHSADCA), Wednesday. The 35th annual game is scheduled to be played Carlisle H.H. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg (MS) on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi Saturday, December 11.
The AHSACDA All-Star Selection Committee selected the players from nominations submitted by member school coaches at a meeting Oct. 13 held at the AHSAA Office.
“We are thankful to the selection committee for their efforts in selecting this year’s group,” said Dean. “They went to great lengths to make sure each AHSAA class and district is represented in the selections. We believe we have assembled a group of student-athletes who will be outstanding representatives for their respective schools, communities, and the AHSAA. We look forward to traveling to Hattiesburg and putting forth our best effort.”
Dean said the selection process didn’t just start on Wednesday. He praised the member schools, especially the head football coaches, for their nominations and the selection committee for their tireless efforts over the last several months.
“We thank our member schools for their continued support of this annual contest.” He said.
The squad includes 17 players who have already committed to a total of seven SEC schools, four others committed to Big 5 conference schools and 12 uncommitted seniors – several of them deciding from a number of major college schools.
Of the all-stars already committed, five who are heading to Alabama and five who are planning to attend Auburn. The Crimson Tide commitments include running back Emmanuel Henderson of Geneva County, linebacker Jeremiah Alexander of Thompson, linebacker Robert Woodyard of Williamson, defensive lineman Khurtis Perry of Pike Road and receiver Kobe Prentice of Calera. The Tigers’ commitments on the All-Star roster include linebacker Justin Powell Gordon and offensive lineman Drew Bobo of Auburn High School, defensive lineman/tight end Caden Story of Lanett, place-kicker Alex McPherson of Fort Payne and wide receiver Omari Kelly of Hewitt-Trussville.
Faith Academy defensive end Shemar James has committed to Florida, Hewitt-Trussville defensive lineman Justice Finkley has committed to Tennessee, Oxford defensive back Miguel Mitchell has chosen Vanderbilt, Opelika defensive back Jarell Stinson has selected Ole Miss, Montgomery Catholic defensive back Jourdan Thomas and St. Paul’s Episcopal offensive lineman Lucas Taylor are heading to Mississippi State.
The quarterbacks chosen for the squad are Thompson senior Conner Harrell (North Carolina State) and Hoover senior Bennett Meredith. He is uncommitted. Both are scheduled to square off Oct. 23 when the defending Class 7A state champion Warriors (8-0) and Bucs (8-0) play at Hoover with the Region 3 title weighing in the balance. Thompson faces Oak Mountain (6-1), which is 4-1 in the region, this week, and Hoover faces Tuscaloosa County.
Alabama Head coach for this year’s game is Adrian Abrams of Minor High School. He was named last May as head coach of the Alabama All-Star squad, comprised current Class of 2022 seniors. His coaching staff, which was announced in June, include: Sam Adams, Oxford High School; Aryvia Holmes, McAdory High School; Chad Eads, Gardendale High School; Travis Lockett, Linden High School; Sam Shade, Pinson Valley High School; Darrell Higgins, Mars Hill Bible High School; Larry Strain, Handley High School; and Chris Metcalf,Minor High School (scout coach). Billy Odom, Ken Wright and Randy White are the administrative coaches.
Alabama beat Mississippi last December 19-7. The series started in 1988 with Alabama winning three overtimes 24-21. The 34th game Saturday improved Alabama’s record in 23-11 overall. Mississippi has won all three games played in Mississippi (2015, 2017 and 2019). Alabama has a 23-8 edge in all games played in Alabama.
The complete 2021 Alabama roster and year-by-year history of the Classic are below.
SERIES HISTORY: Alabama holds a 23-11 lead.
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