Persistence paid off for Southern University.
Former Ferriday standout Kobe Dillon visited Southern as a senior at Ferriday High and was offered a scholarship by Jaguar head coach Dawson Odums. Lamar, South Alabama and Lamar also offered.
But Dillon decided to attend Hinds Community College and see what other offers he might receive.
“My plan was to take a gamble and attend JUCO for a year,” Dillon said. “I was never considering going two years. I was hoping for bigger offers.”
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Dillon was a 3-star recruit by 247Sports.
Dillon played in three of Hinds’ four games, completing 1-of-2 passes for seven yards, while rushing 17 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
Hinds finished the 2020 season in second place in the South Division of the Mississippi Association of Community College Conference (MACCC) with a 3-1 overall record.
The Eagles ranked No. 10 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) according to JCGridiron.
The Eagles defeated Jones College, Southwest Mississippi Community College and Pearl River Community College.
The Bulldogs’ lone loss came in week one in an overtime battle against the MACCC South Division Champions, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
The season was cut short because of COVID-19.
“It was a strange season,” Dillon said. “I just had to keep the same mindset.”
Dillon helped lead Ferriday to a Class 2A state championship in 2019. He was 120-of-199 for 2,112 yards and tossed 23 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
Dillon rushed for 1,730 yards for 116 yards and 21 TDs. In the 56-17 state championship win over Many.
Dillon was named Most Outstanding Player. He finished the game with 225 yards and four touchdowns, was 8-of-12 for 174 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 12 times for 51 yards and two TDs.
Despite the abbreviated season this year, Dillon said he learned a lot by attending Hinds.
“Attending Hinds helped me by competing against better competition,” he said. “Everybody is good. You have to be at the top of your game. I had to prepare more than anybody else. It also helped me get used to the tempo college life. It’s a lot different than high school.”
Dillon, who is majoring in Computer Science, said Southern offered him soon after his season at Hinds ended.
“That meant a lot that they offered me again,” Dillon said. “I visited the school last year and I really liked it.”
Dillon will enroll in Southern on January 6.
And while not eligible to play until next August, Dillon can still be part of two teams in the same school year.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference decided this past summer to move its season to early next year.
The Jaguars open their season on February 26, 2021 at Alabama State.
Southern will play seven games before the SWAC championship game.
Southern senior quarterback Ladarius Skelton threw for 1,642 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 153 of 251 passing attempts. He placed first on the Jaguars with 870 yards on the ground and 14 rushing scores.
“That’s another reason I don’t see playing this season for Southern because they have a senior quarterback,” Dillon said. “But I will be attending practices and soaking up everything I can from watching,” he said. “And I don’t have to worry about what school I am going to attend. I can concentrate on being at Southern.”