Mississippi College defensive back Chris Lyles and wide receiver Marcel Newson will have the opportunity to realize their dreams of playing in the National Football League after after receiving invitations to compete at mini-camps.
Lyles (Jackson, Miss. / Hinds CC / Jim Hill HS) received a phone call from the Indianapolis Colts, while Newson (Coldwater, Miss. / Northwest MS CC / Coldwater HS) is heading to camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The first thing that went through my mind when I got the call was a scripture that I try to live by,” said Lyles. “Joshua 1:9 says, ‘Be strong and never have fear, for God is with you wherever you go.’ I’m extremely excited for this chance.”
Lyles was a two-year starter for the Choctaws at cornerback, posting the best game of his career on “Senior Day” with five tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery against eventual national runner-up North Alabama. His size at 6’4″ on the outside made him an intriguing prospect to NFL scouts.
“This is truly a dream come true for my family and me,” said Newson. “This is something I’ve been working for since I started playing football, and I can’t wait to get started on this journey.”
Newson has been the most decorated Choctaw in recent memory, twice being named a finalist for the C Spire Conerly Trophy (Mississippi’s top four-year college football player) and earning a nomination for the Harlon Hill Trophy in 2016 (Division II’s top college football player). He was a First Team All-GSC selection as a wide receiver and return specialist and closed out his career as MC’s all-time leader in receptions per game (5.11) and all-purpose yards per game (146.2).
“Hard to overstate how proud we are of these two young men,” said head coach John Bland. “They have worked hard, and it’s paying off with an opportunity to play at the next level. This is an exciting time for Chris and Marcel and also for Choctaw football. I’m sure they will give their best and compete well during camp.”
Both players are expected to make their way to their respective camps in the next few weeks.
Source: MS News Now