BLOG — Ole Miss gained another top junior college prospect today when Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Lavon Hooks picked the Rebels over offers from Mississippi State, Washington, Auburn, Nebraska and Miami, among others.The 6-foot-4, 302-pound Hooks gives the Rebels a third tackle on defense in a year they are losing two as well as another veteran from the JUCO ranks. (EMCC’s Jarran Reed has given a verbal pledge and will sign with the Rebels in February).
Hooks was rated as one of the top JUCO players in the nation this year, regardless of position, while some recruiting sites and analysts rated him as the top player in the state. Hooks recorded 20.5 tackles for a loss, including 9.5 tackles for a loss. He was a member of the MACJC first team on defense this past season. Hooks, who is originally from Gwinett County, Ga., started his career at a military academy before coming to NECC and Booneville. Hooks was originally recruited by former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and tight ends coach James Shibest, who pointed Hooks’ talents out to NECC coach Ricky Smither.
In an interview with Smither that was published Nov. 29, he said Hooks has all the tools to be a very productive tackle at the next level.
“Lavon is a very versatile guy. He can come off the edge. He’s strong enough, big enough to get some push in the middle. He’s that type of guy,” Smither said. “He was one of the few sophomores that we played this past year. He’s a huge team leader, real big Christian guy. He’s just a pleasure to be around. He’s one of those kids that attracts people to him. He’s just a real pleasurable guy to be around.”
Hooks has two years left to play. He has graduated from NECC and will begin school in January and go through spring drills, a big reason he was rated as highly as he was. For more on Hooks, see Friday’s Sports section. (December 20, 2012)