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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2007
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Local Influence

A look at how a few football players from area high schools are faring at the collegiate level:

Cole Barthel (Decatur), Arkansas Tech, QB: Opened the season by completing 25 of 33 passes for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 20-13 win over Northeastern State. Was intercepted once. Topped off the day by rushing five times for a team-high 37 yards.

Travis Boyd (Brewer), Troy, TE: The sophomore made his first collegiate start in theTrojansí 46-26 loss to Arkansas. He caught one pass for 14 yards. His catch came in the third quarter.

Will Brannon (East Lawrence), Huntington, OL: Played as a reserve in Huntingdonís 26-13 season-opening win over McMurray.

Wes Brown (Athens), Tennessee, DE: Made two tackles in a 45-31 loss to California. Also returned a kickoff 9 yards.

Brett Byford (Hartselle), Nebraska, C: Started at center for the Cornhuskers ina 52-10 season-opening win over Nevada. Helped pace a ground game that rolled up 413 rushing yards. After playing little for his first three years, he moved into the starting lineup last year and has been a mainstay. Is on the watch list for the Rimington Award, which honors the nationís top center.

Sean Darby (East Limestone), Jacksonville State, DE: Started at right end and made three tackles in JSUís 24-19 loss to Alabama State. Credited with one solo stop and two assists.

Eric Gray (West Morgan), Alabama, DB: Played as a reserve in the Crimson Tideís 52-6 win over Western Carolina but was not credited with any tackles.

Morgan Hull (Austin), Auburn, K: Playing in his first collegiate game, he kicked off once in the Tigersí 23-13 win over Kansas State when he substituted for injured Wes Byrum in the third quarter. His kick traveled 50 yards.

Reshard Langford (Tanner), Vanderbilt, DB: Beginning his third season as a starting safety for the Commodores. Made one tackle and broke up one pass in a 41-17 win over Richmond.

Stephen Laye (Elkmont), Huntingdon, WR: Started at receiver and caught two passes for 47 yards in a win over McMurry, including a 6-yard touchdown reception.

Rolando McClain (Decatur), Alabama, LB: Became the eighth true freshman to start a season opener for the Crimson Tide. He made seven tackles in Alabamaís win over Western Carolina.

Alfred McCullough (Athens), Alabama, DL: Came off the bench in his first collegiate game and made one tackle against Western Carolina.

Jerraud Powers (Decatur), Auburn, DB: Made his first collegiate start and had five tackles against Kansas State. Combined with teammate Jonathan Wilhite to made one stop behind the line for a 1-yard loss. Four of his tackles were solo stops. Also broke up two passes and hurried the quarterback once.

Ryan Powers (Tanner), Arkansas, LB: Came off the bench to make five tackles in a win over Troy. All five of his stops were solo tackles. Only two other Arkansas players had more solo tackles

John Scott (Austin), Jacksonville State, DL: Started at nose guard and tied for the team high with eight tackles in JSUís loss to Alabama State. He had three solo stops and five assists and made 1.5 tackles behind the line.

LaDarrius Stanley (R.A. Hubbard), UAB, OL: Played as a reserve in the Blazersí 55-18 loss at Michigan State.

Nikita Stover (Hartselle), Alabama, WR: Caught one pass for 10 yards in Alabamaís win Saturday. Was one of 12 players to catch at least one pass for the Crimson Tide.

Caleb Thomas (Decatur), UAB, OL: Started at right guard in his first collegiate game as the Blazers fell at Michigan State.

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