January 7, 2003
It is not easy for players at the Division II level to get noticed by NFL scouts.
That is why it is a special honor to be selected to play in the annual Whataburger Cactus Bowl which is an all-star game for the top players in division II.
The East squad will be represented by four players with ties to South Georgia.
The defense will be feature Albany State defensive back Tommy Jackson. The Brooks County high product had 41 tackles and eight interceptions in his senior season.
Jackson is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former college teammate Keion Nash.
Nash, currently a member of the Oakland Raiders practice squad, was the defensive most valuable player in last year's Cactus Bowl.
Wide receiver C.J. Lofton of Valdosta and defensive lineman Dewayne Smith will represent Gulf South Conference champion and division two runner-up Valdosta State.
A three time all-conference selection, Lofton caught 77 passes in 2002, six for touchdowns.
Dewayne Smith had 30 tackles for losses and 11.5 quarterback sacks in winning the Gulf South Conference's defensive player of the year award.
One of the quarterbacks for the East team will be Thomasville's Leonard Gutyon. Guyton was All-American at Carson-Newman where he rewrote the school record book.
The Whataburger Cactus Bowl will start at 7:30pm EST at Kingsville, Texas.