RIPLEY • A pair of Ripley Tigers signed their letters of intent to play college football next season. On National Signing Day last Wednesday, Feb. 5, Jamal Brooks inked with Itawamba Community College (ICC) and T.J. Storey signed with Coahoma Community College (CCC).
"It's a dream come true," claimed Brooks. "Ever since I was five years old I started playing. I always wanted to play college football, no matter where I went. I'm so happy that I get to live out my dream."
Brooks was named the Div. 1-4A Offensive Player of the Year after totaling 1,733 yards and 16 total touchdowns in his senior season. He also led the Tigers with 111 tackles and eight sacks on defense. One of the best two-way players in the area said he does not care which side of the ball he plays on as long as he makes an impact.
"They told me that I'm just an athlete right now but wherever they put me, I'm going to show out," Brooks stated.
Storey, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound left tackle, paved the way for Brooks to have running lanes to run through this past season. Storey was selected as a First Team All Div. 1-4A player after his efforts helped the Tigers to a solid running attack. Storey's decision came down to Coahoma or following Brooks to ICC.
"It's a big moment for me," said Storey. "They gave me the opportunity to play at the next level and now it's up to me to make the most of it. Coahoma is trying to rebuild and I really want to be a part of that rebuilding process."
Former Ripley head coach Sam Hathorn believes both of these players have a bright future ahead of them.
"Jamal is a hard worker and such a team guy. He is going to do whatever they ask him to do. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to be successful," said Hathorn. "If they want him to play nose guard, he will play that as wide open as he would play linebacker or running back.
"T.J. is a lot more athletic than people give him credit for. I know Coahoma is getting a solid offensive lineman, who has really good feet. He's got all the tools and I know they will do a good job of grooming him and getting him ready to go."
Brooks and Storey are the first football signees from Ripley since 2015.