Kosciusko senior Antonio Harmon is rated as the Number 3 football recruit in the state of Mississippi by the recruiting website Rivals, yet he is not among the 40 players chosen for the Mississippi-Alabama All Star Game.
“I thought it is a game that he definitely belongs in. I assumed he would be picked for it,” said Kosciusko coach Casey Orr.
Orr pointed out that Harmon is also a Dandy Dozen — the top 12 players in the state as chosen by The Clarion-Ledger. “You think about a Dandy Dozen kid and that’s one of the 12 best kids in the state. You pick a roster of 40 kids and you would think those 12 would be on it.”
He noted that another Dandy Dozen selection, 6-5, 275-pound offensive tackle Makylan Pounders of Byhalia, was also left off the team.
Harmon was chosen for the North team in the Bernard Blackwell North/South All Star Game. “As a coach on the North team, I'm excited to have him on our team,” Orr said.
The teams were chosen by the coaching staffs.
South Delta coach Derrick Hooker, Mississippi head coach, said, “We can only take so many players. When we evaluated the players, we had a system we used. He (Harmon) fell right under the threshold.”
The team includes two highly productive quarterbacks, Luke Altmyer of top-ranked Starkville and Ty Keyes of 2A defending state champion Taylorsville. Altmyer passed for 3,093 yards and 37 touchdowns as a junior, leading Starkville to the 6A state championship game.
Keyes is on pace to break the state career passing yardage record of 15,138 set by current LSU starting quarterback Myles Brennan during four years (2013-16) at St. Stanislaus. Through the first three games this year, Keyes had 12,943 yards.
“We haven’t totally decided on how we’re going to play it. But we are definitely going to play both of them,” Hooker said. Altmyer has committed to Florida State and Keyes to Tulane.
“We picked the best 40 players who will fit what we want to do to go over there and have a chance to win the ball game,” Hooker said.
The game is scheduled for December 12 at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.
Hooker said the Mississippi team is “solid all over” but may be strongest up front on both sides of the ball. “We know that is where the ball game is usually won. We think we picked eight really good offensive linemen and seven defensive linemen we think could go over there and help us win.”
Six wide receivers were chosen, led by the state’s Number 2 recruit, Isaiah Brevard of Southaven, an Oregon commit.
The top ranked recruit, LSU commit Deion Smith, is not eligible for the team. He transferred from Provine to Jackson Academy because Jackson Public Schools are not playing football this year due to the pandemic. Only MHSAA players are eligible.
“If he were eligible we would have looked at him. There would have been a good possibility of him being picked,” Hooker said.
Mississippi has won the last three games, including 17-16 in overtime last year at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The North/South game is scheduled for December 19 at a site to be determined.
One player not chosen for either team is Tupelo Christian quarterback Khi Holiday, who leads the state in total offense at 448.5 yards per game.
Rosters for both games are on the Mississippi Association of Coaches website – www.mscoaches.com.