COLUMN: The last 24 hours — and really the last two weeks if you want to look at the big picture — have been bizarre to say the least regarding the recruitment of Reserve, La., cornerback Floyd Raven.Wednesday morning rumors began to circulate that the Rebels had indeed landed Raven’s letter of intent.
Actually, as it turns out, it was the letter of intent or his mother — allegedly.
(I wonder if she can help the porous Rebel secondary in man coverage, of if she’s better suited for zone coverage?)
Almost immediately after word spread that Raven was a Rebel, rumors leaked that there was an issue.
He couldn’t find a fax machine. He found one, but it wasn’t working. And then, it came to light that the signature the Ole Miss coaching staff had in its possession was — allegedly — that of his mother and the LOI with his actual signature had been sent to Texas A&M, the school he reportedly had been committed to over a week ago.
Curious to say the least.
During Wednesday’s press conference at the Indoor Practice Facility, it was obvious Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt did not want to talk about what turned out to be a forgery.
“As far as Floyd Raven, Floyd Raven was here very, very early on a visit. He fell in love with Ole Miss. His mother fell in love with Ole Miss. But the bottom line is he wanted to be here, he wanted to come, but it’s hard for an 18-year-old in this process because everybody is very, very good at what they do as far as selling their university and selling their program,” he said. “Bottom line is we did get a signature, we did get a letter, but… I want people who want to be here. I want people who truly want to be here, so I’d rather just talk about the ones that we have and I’m excited about the ones that said, ‘hey, I want to be an Ole Miss Rebel.’”
Nutt later added: “His mom really wanted him here. His mom wanted him here in the worst way. When they told us that we said, ‘hey look, I want you to be here because you really want to be here.’ He was so torn. It’s a really hard decision but when his mom told me that — hey look, I want you to do what’s in your heart, and I think at the time he wanted to go elsewhere. I want them to want to be here. The one thing I know about the guys that we have on the signatures, they want to be here. Let’s leave it at that. Good luck to him.”
What’s it all mean?
What does the snafu mean for Ole Miss?
It means that the Rebels need to convert the signatures of high schoolers Senquez Golzon, Nickolas Brassell, and junior college transfers Wesley Pendleton and Aaron Garbutt, into contributors.
After some delay, Floyd’s signature was publicly accepted by Texas A&M late yesterday.
That is, unless it turns out that John Hancock is actually that of his father or a cousin.
Nothing would surprise me anymore when it comes to Raven’s recruitment.
Maybe he’ll end up at Michigan, Utah, Pittsburgh or Alabama, four schools he flirted with before re-committing to Ole Miss one week ago.
Not much is clear with this story other than Raven won’t be a Rebel — maybe. (February 3, 2011, Page 6)