PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Ask any member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs, and they can't tell you an absolute favorite memory they have of Perkinston partly because there are so many from which to choose.
The most recent graduates will have plenty of time to think of a few, especially after 14 former Bulldogs players signed with four-year universities Wednesday morning.
"Coming out of high school, I didn't think I could be the person that I am today," said defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs, who signed with Alabama. "I made the right choice by coming to Gulf Coast for me to fulfill my dreams, become a better player and a better person."
Buggs was a highly-touted recruit over the past two years and eventually rose to a five-star ranking from Rivals. He chose Alabama over LSU due to the recent coaching staff changes in Baton Rouge, and is expected to charge into Tuscaloosa as an immediate impact player.
MGCCC featured a strong rushing attack this year thanks in large part to a dominating offensive line. Rishard Cook (UAB), Kevin Haas (Ohio), D'Marcus Hayes (Georgia) and Randan Knight (Mississippi College) made their commitments official.
"(Birmingham) reminded me a lot of Perkinston," said Cook, who's expected to compete for the Blazers' starting right guard spot. "I knew what the coaches felt and knew I could be comfortable with them, and I felt like I could trust them. They told me I could be good help right off the bat."
Hayes, who had his official visit to Georgia this past weekend, chose the Bulldogs from Athens over other offers from TCU, Oregon State, Auburn, South Florida, Arkansas, Florida, Louisville, and many others.
"Coming from JUCO, you want to come in and play," Hayes said. "They say once I report that I'll be getting a lot of reps with the 1s and the 2s just to get me in the system and get going."
Haas is one of four players that graduated from high schools on the coast before joining MGCCC. Hancock's Carson Jordan (Western Kentucky) spent most of his time on the opposite side of Buggs on the defensive line the past two years.
Jay Jay Smith (UTSA) and Jonathan Nance (Arkansas) are both former Gulfport Admirals.
"The (UTSA) coaching staff, they just made me feel at home, like I belonged there and knew them my whole life," Smith said. "They showed me a great time. They didn't bull with me. They didn't show me no bull. They kept everything straightforward. This is a great school, I love the campus and the academics are good for me, too."
HOOK 'EM, ROWLAND
Kicker Joshua Rowland announced his commitment to the University of Texas on Monday and signed with the Longhorns on Wednesday. He's the first signee for Texas' first-year head coach Tom Herman.
BUSTING THROUGH DORSEY
Defensive back Vaughnte Dorsey was a late focus for Southern Miss, but the Cleveland (MS) native inked with Texas Tech. Mississippi Gulf Coast head coach Chad Huff said most of his offers came in during a strong sophomore season performance, finishing with five pass breakups, one interception and 44 tackles in nine games.
SEEING RED (WOLVES)
Punter Tyler Flathau has signed with Arkansas State after averaging more than 40 yards per punt in 2016.
Former Auburn pledge Brandon Martin is expected to sign with Arkansas on Thursday. The wide receiver also considered LSU and Mississippi State as finalists.
Southern Miss commit T'Rod Daniels will sign with the Golden Eagles in February and will enroll during the summer.
Dylan Davis is expected to sign with Arkansas Tech, Marquand Thornton is undecided, while Kalen Whitlow will be heading to Grambling State.