Burdette vs. Jerry

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

UAB linebacker Marvin Burdette (left) of Batesville, 5’11”, 230 pounds, gets a big, bear hug from cousin Ole Miss offensive lineman John Jerry of Batesville, 6’6”, 335 pounds, following Ole Miss’ 43-14 win Saturday night. The two were often on the field at the same time during Ole Miss’ homecoming. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Cousins reunited on opposite sides of the gridiron Sat. night

By Angie Ledbetter

When the lights came on and the action started at Vaught Hemingway Stadium Saturday, there were two cousins, who are both former South Panola standout football players, up against each other on opposite teams.

Senior Ole Miss offensive tackle John Jerry and freshman UAB linebacker Marvin Burdette battled each other for the first time in history with Jerry’s team coming out on top with a 48-13 victory.

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Jerry is 6’6” and weighs 335 pounds while Burdette is 5’11” and weighs 230 pounds.

The two have always played football together as fun but never competed against each other. Saturday was an emotional day for both of them as they battled for their home teams.

Burdette said it was like old times to return closer to home and play college football in front of family and friends.

“It was a different team but I had the same support. It felt great,” Burdette said.

The loss hurt because everybody did their best, according to Burdette.

“Everybody made mistakes but we still did our best. I feel that if we did our best, I’m comfortable with it. I did my thing and they did theirs but unfortunately it ended like it did.”

The UAB faced negative talk before ever coming to Oxford.

“It’s Ole Miss what can I say? Everybody is Ole Miss. Coming down here everybody was downing us before the game started. For us, we just wanted to make sure we proved them wrong. But it didn’t go our way. We just have to pick our heads up and look forward to the next game.”

The two cousins had some fun time on the field.

“He was talking about he was going to take it easy on me. We support each other. When he called me, he always asked me if I was ready. He always would tell me that he was watching me on film that night and would tell me to just keep grinding and do this and that. To know that you’re playing against your own relatives or a former teammate, it’s always a great feeling.”

Burdette said the year so far has gone pretty good but it could be better.