An'Darius Coffey will remain a Tiger.
After playing quarterback and defensive back for the Winona Tigers, he will be a University of Memphis Tiger, not a Duke Blue Devil.
Coffey signed with Duke in February, but had a change of heart and decided to head north to Memphis rather than east to Durham, North Carolina.
“It was just a mistake,” he said of Duke.
Coffey was a highly-productive quarterback the past two years, but was recruited as a defensive back, the position he played for Winona as a sophomore.
In 2017, he was credited with 34 tackles and had four interceptions, helping Winona reach the 2A state championship game. Switching to offense, he ran and passed for 2,846 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior, leading Winona to a 13-1 record and the championship of Region 3-3A.
He outdid himself last fall, with one highlight film game after another. Against Choctaw County, the Tigers were backed up, third and long at their one. Adavion Hargrove ran a fly pattern, Coffey dropped back in the end zone and lofted a pass that hit Hargrove in stride at midfield, resulting in a 99-yard scoring pass.
He passed for 394 yards and five touchdowns against Yazoo City. Ran for 255 yards and three TDs against Amanda Elzy. In 10 of 12 games, he went over 100 yards both running and passing, finishing with 2,064 yards and 23 TDs passing, 1,665 yards and 24 TDs running.
The honors rolled in. He was named as Offensive Player of the Year on the 3A All State team and was chosen to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All Star Game and the Blue-Gray All American Bowl in Atlanta.
He has been staying in shape working out at B U C Athletics in Greenville, with college prep drills for technique and speed.
Coffey will be joining a winning program. Memphis went 12-2 last fall, won the American Athletic Conference championship and finished 17th in the final AP poll. As the top ranked team from a conference not part of the Power Five, Memphis qualified for a New Year’s Day bowl, a 53-39 loss to Penn State at the Cotton Bowl.
Mississippians have always been a big part of the Memphis program. Redshirt freshman Kenny Gainwell from Yazoo City was the conference’s co-Player of the Year after totaling 2,069 yards running and receiving.
Memphis is fairly close to home for Winona, only 120 miles up I-55.