TUPELO • New faces have stepped in this spring to replace some production for the Tupelo football team.
The Golden Wave lost some big-name players from this past season, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Jordan Jernigan is now catching passes at Ole Miss, while 2018 Daily Journal Offensive Player of the Year Jaquerrious Williams is at Northwest Community College. Stephon McGlaun, a three-year starter at quarterback, is now at Northeast Community College.
Those players may be gone, but coach Trent Hammond believes the group he has now can come in and continue the success that Tupelo has had lately.
“We don’t have those blue-chip guys in every position like we had coming into last year, but we have kids that are really hard workers, and we have a really good blue-collar football team,” Hammond said.
With those gone, a few of the upcoming seniors are the new big-name players for the Wave. Jaycob Horn, for instance, has moved back to the offensive side of the ball and recently grabbed his second Division I offer from Ole Miss.
Horn, the son of former NFL player Joe Horn, was a defensive back last season and had 42 tackles and one interception.
“We moved him back to the offensive side, and he runs really great routes,” Hammond said. “He gives us a home run threat over there, and he’s just been a tremendous leader.”
Trip Wilson, another senior leader, joins Horn in the receiving corps. Wilson, a University of Memphis commit for baseball, had eight receptions for 134 yards last year.
David Hayes will line up at running back after rushing for 306 yards and two touchdowns last year, and Adam Miller will help lead the defense after recording 37 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back.
“All of those were kids that got playing time last season due to people being injured,” Hammond said. “We’ve got some that have some experience, we’ve just got a lot to work on to be able to compete in our division.”
Rising junior Jake Weir takes over at quarterback.
As a sophomore, he completed three of his eight attempts for 18 yards and one interception. Despite him having limited experience at the varsity level, Hammond has faith he will be a successful quarterback.