Photo by Chris Todd

By Robert Wilson

       Senior linebacker Ryan McCall led Madison Central in tackles last season.

       The way McCall played in Madison Central’s season opener, he might lead all of Mississippi in tackles this season.

       The 6-foot, 215-pound McCall had a career-high 20 tackles to lead Madison Central to a 15-14 victory over Ocean Springs in a MHSAA Class 6A, non-region game at Madison Central in Madison.

       For his outstanding performance, McCall has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.

       McCall had a team-high 89 tackles – 33 solo tackles and 56 assists – with 5 tackles for loss (31 yards), 5 sacks, 8 hurries, 2 quarterback hits, 2 pass deflections, 1 fumble and 1 fumble recovery and helped Madison Central to an 8-4 record and the second round of the 6A state playoffs last season as a junior.

       He picked up where he left off last season and then some as he got off to a great start for his senior year. McCall had 12 solo tackles and eight assists, two tackles for loss and graded out at 84 percent. His performance came against a team with 15 starters back from last year, which finished 13-1 and reached the 6A state semifinals.

       “Ryan has been a three-year starter for us,” Madison Central coach Toby Collum said. “He’s a tough, physical and instinctual linebacker. Ryan is not only a good football player, he’s also a great teammate.”

       “Ryan has a very high football IQ and he’s an outstanding leader for us,” Madison Central defensive coordinator Jay Livingston said. “Ryan makes everyone around him better and we lean on him to get our defense in the right alignment. He was able to have so much success on Friday because his defensive line was doing a great job of keeping him clean and allowing him to do what he does. Ryan has been a big part of getting our whole defense to buy in and do their part so that we can have success as a team.”

       McCall started a few games as a sophomore and had 51 tackles (24 solos and 27 assists), 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack and helped Madison Central to a 13-1 record and the 6A state championship two years ago as a sophomore.

       McCall – whose twitter account is @ryan_mccall1 – has offers from Hinds Community College and East Central CC.

       He is the son of Rick and Tonya McCall. Rick played football at Mississippi Valley State and Ryan’s uncle, Byron, played football at Mississippi State. Rick is now the defensive coordinator-linebacker coach at Yazoo County High. Ryan has one sibling, sister Laila, who is a sophomore at Madison Central.

Mississippi Scoreboard selects a football player from Hinds, Madison, or Rankin counties each week. Coaches can nominate a player by text or call to Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276.

            2023 POW winners:

       Week One: John White, MRA

       Week Two: Jacob Clearman, Tri-County Academy