BLOG — If Olive Branch head coach Scott Samsel is right, then the Ole Miss Rebels picked up a verbal pledge from the state’s top defensive player for the 2014 class.
Linebacker Alfred Dickens (6-foot-1, 200-pounds) became the fourth player to pick Ole Miss in less than 24 hours when he accepted to accept the scholarship offer from Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze. Dickens is the ninth overall player from the state of Mississippi to pick the Freeze-led Rebels, who now have 13 players verbally committed for ’14.
Dickens, who also had offers from Mississippi State and Southern Miss, has played safety and both inside and outside linebacker at OBHS for Samsel, who has been high on his rising senior for a long time now. Even as a sophomore, Dickens was a major contributor on defense for the Conquistadors who won the MHSAA Class 6A state title in 2011.
“He’s a good tackler. I would put him in the same category as (Darren) Bates and (Rod) Woodson. He’s somewhere in between those two,” Samsel said about Dickens compared to Bates, who just ended a standout career at Auburn and Woodson, who signed with Alabama. “That’s pretty good company right there. He’s kind of that hybrid linebacker-safety type guy. He’s been a three-year starter and the last two games of the championship season, he was the leading tackler in both ballgames. I think he had 19 tackles in the championship game and 22 tackles in the North Half championship game.”
Samsel said that Dickens has played a traditional middle linebacker role, a safety that has rolled down on the hash and looked like an an outside linebacker and also in the box during his career.
“I don’t know what else folks would want to see out of him,” Samsel said during an interview with the EAGLE published on April 19.
Samsel said the plan for Dickens, in regards to recruiting, was to make a school choice this summer before the 2013 season started. He added that Dickens was the kind of person to make a commitment and stick with his pledge once a decision was made.
(June 8, 2013)