Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio is shaping up to bring some exciting news for the Ole Miss Rebel football team. Two Mississippi players — South Panola wide receiver/defensive back Nickolas Brassell and Madison Central wideout Tobias Singleton — will announce where they will be playing football in the future during the annual game. (Saturday’s game can be seen locally on NBC at noon).
Brassell, a 6-foot, 185-pound speedster with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, is currently committed to Mississippi State, but a few that know him say he likes Ole Miss and is likely to choose the Rebels Saturday and on National Signing Day as he is the Bulldogs. Singleton (6-1, 185, 4.4), meanwhile, has kept Ole Miss high on his list throughout the season even though he has not publicly commented on what school he was going to attend in the future.
Some fans have worried about Singleton becoming a Rebel because of his frequent trips to Starkville for games this past football season, but the prevailing feel now is Singleton and Brassell both feel more comfortable with Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and his staff and what their respective futures would be like in Oxford as opposed to MSU’s Dan Mullen and his staff in Starkville.
Continuity in a staff has paid off for the Rebels on the recruiting trail this week. Manny Diaz leaving MSU as defensive coordinator had a huge impact on the future of another U.S. Army All-American, Philadelphia linebacker C.J. Johnson (6-3, 227, 4.6), who de-committed from the Bulldogs on Wednesday after being their most solid verbally committed player since October 2009. Johnson is now considering Ole Miss heavily, as is another former MSU commit, Amanda-Elzy defensive back Jermaine Whitehead (6-0, 185, 4.4), who was also dismayed when he heard Diaz was leaving.
These four players could all see playing time as freshmen, especially Whitehead and Brasell, who could end up being converted into a cornerback based on his outstanding lateral quickness and size.
It will be interesting to see where these four players finally end up signing in less than a month.
But if you’re a Rebel fan, the prospect of having all four become a part of the 2011 class, the class that helps turn things back around for Nutt, you have to like how Ole Miss appears to be finishing things out. (January 7, 2011, Page 7A)