/RIP Ole Miss great Paige Cothren, the very first New Orleans Saint

RIP Ole Miss great Paige Cothren, the very first New Orleans Saint

We are sorry to learn of the passing of Paige Cothren (ex-Ole Miss football star, two-time All American fullback in mid-’50s), Cothren was an outstanding player who excelled at all levels of the game, including as a blocker and runner, tackler, kicker, and tackler. Paige Cothren lived a full life. He belonged to the Ole Miss Poole clan. His uncles were Buster, Ray, and Barney Poole, his mother’s brothers. He was a Natchez High School player, Ole Miss student, and then he spent three years in the NFL. Two for the Los Angeles Rams, one for the Philadelphia Eagles. One of Cothren’s many accomplishments was that he was the first New Orleans Saint. That’s right. Paige Cothren, a Mississippian was the first Saint to be signed. Cothren, who had been in retirement for six years, was offered a contract by Tom Fears to kick for the new Saints. He signed the contract and went to camp, where he faced Charlie Durkee for his placekicking job. Both men kicked well, according to reports. Durkee was awarded the job. Cothren said that Durkee was the winner. He wore a special shoe to kick. His father was an iron worker and made him a special steel-toed shoe. It was his first year with it and the league allowed him to continue using it. The league declared the shoe illegal and took it away.” Cothren returned to Mississippi, where he became a Christian counselor, teacher, and author of 29 books. Funeral services will take place Sunday at Houston First Baptist Church at 3 p.m. *** I always bring up the best quote from the history of Mississippi sports when I write about the Pooles. The Poole brothers, Ray, Buster and Barney, were raised in the Homochitto area, where they only attended junior high school. Buster moved to Natchez where he lived as a boarder. Buster Poole was first introduced to football in Natchez. He was tall, strong, and rangy like all Pooles. He could catch, block and tackle as well as run. According to the legend, Buster went back to Homochitto in the summer after his first fall of high school. He excitedly shared with his brothers that he had found a game they could play. . “And, boy, was he. . . Today is the start of the 2016 Mississippi college football season. The Mississippi State quarterback situation will be revealed when the Bulldogs face South Alabama at 11 AM. Jay Hopson’s first USM football team will play at Kentucky at 6:30 PM. On Monday night Ole Miss will take on Florida State at Orlando. The matchup is a battle between ranked tams. Bulldogs might struggle early on, but their superior talent and depth should win in the heat of midday. Southern Miss 34, Kentucky 27, Today’s upset is special. Senior quarterback Nick Mullens is why I love the Golden Eagles. Ole Miss 27, Florida State 24. This one is also an upset according to the oddsmakers. The Rebels have a big advantage over FSU’s team, which isn’t certain about the quarterback position. Chad Kelly was playing well at the end 2015 and has been for the past two years. It seems that it is getting talked about on the radio that I said that Clinton wunderkind Cam Akers would play quarterback in college. It is not true. He could, if he chooses, play quarterback at the next level. He has the ability to do it. He could play safety, cornerback, running back, wide receiver, or return kicks. This is how versatile he can be. Akers is also known to be the greatest high school football player in Mississippi history. I didn’t. He belongs with the greatest high school players Mississippi has ever seen, which I didn’t. He is that good. The Akers piece can be read here. To support this work, you can make a regular donation to us today as we celebrate our Spring Member Drive. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.