Desoto County Sports

Trio of Rangers earn NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American nods

Photo: From left: Dylan Spencer, Charles Thomas and D.J. Burgess earned NJCAA All-American status, bringing the program’s total to 125 All-Americans. (Credit:

On the eve of early National Signing Day, three Northwest players have garnered Honorable Mention All-America recognition from the NJCAA, the organization announced on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 19.

Sophomore offensive lineman Dylan Spencer, sophomore defensive back Charles Thomas and freshman defensive lineman D.J. Burgess were the Rangers’ three representatives, joining a host of other MACCC standouts to receive NJCAA All-American status.

Spencer, who is currently committed to FIU, was one of the most pivotal pieces of the Northwest offensive line this season. The Madison native helped pave the way for the Rangers to net over 1,600 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. The unit also allowed Northwest to thrive in the passing game, as quarterback Keegan Patterson tossed for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Thomas, who is currently committed to ULM, once again proved to a valuable asset to the Northwest secondary, leading the team in both interceptions and pass breakups. The Horn Lake native tied freshman Fredd Adams with six breakups and stood alone with three interceptions, adding to his season total of 36 tackles and a fumble recovery. Two of Thomas’ interceptions came in the season-opener at Mississippi Gulf Coast and he also earned a season-high two pass breakups in the MACCC semifinal loss at Copiah-Lincoln.

Burgess, a native of Oxford, finished with the Rangers’ third-most tackles (46) and led the team with seven quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The son of NFL veteran Derrick Burgess also collected 9.5 tackles-for-loss for 34 negative yards, while also adding 2.5 sacks for 19 yards and a pass breakup.

Burgess was also chosen for North Division Defensive MVP honors by the MACCC last month and is the first Northwest true freshman to earn NJCAA All-American nods since Damien Lewis in 2016. (Lewis would later earn repeat All-American honors as a sophomore in 2017.)

Northwest has now produced 125 all-Americans throughout the program’s history, with 19 of those coming during Benjy Parker’s tenure as head coach (*since 2016). The Rangers will have several players signing on Wednesday’s early National Signing Day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *