BLOG — There was a comfort level and a tradition of winning at East Mississippi Community College that Oxford defensive end Xavier Pegues could not pass up.
On the same day he took a visit to Scooba, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Pegues made a verbal pledge to play for the Lions and head coach Buddy Stephens Thursday. For Pegues, who was named the Mississippi Association Coaches Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year, the visit went very well and his relationship with Andy Greening, who was hired Jan. 1 as linebackers coach, and Jordan Lesley, who is the Lions’ new defensive coordinator, was also key. Greening and Lesley were both at Northwest last season under former coach Ricky Woods.
“I like the facilities and the coaches. I’m real cool with the coaching staff. I felt like I was at home and I figured with the academic program that they’re running, I can get in there and make something happen, get my grades and hopefully they can send me to a bigger college,” Pegues said. “When (Greening and Lesley) were at Northwest they always showed me a lot of interest and then when they shifted to East Mississippi, (Greening) told the coaching staff about me. The head coach looked in to it and he liked me.”
After his outstanding season with the Chargers, Pegues most recently played in the annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. Pegues finished with three tackles in the game and was praised for the way he practiced during the week going up against Mississippi State commitments, OT Jake Thomas and OT Kent Flowers.
“It showed me the competition level. Some of them are going to sign Division I scholarships and it showed me what it takes to be him or what it takes to be him and stuff like that,” Pegues said.
For more on Pegues and the impact that the Lions have had on the recruiting trail in the area, see Monday’s Sports section. (January 25, 2013)