The opportunity to play on the same college football team for an up-and-coming head coach was something Oxford High standouts Larry Pettis and DeShaun McNeal wanted to explore further in the future. Both Pettis and McNeal were given that opportunity to continue their football careers by Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth recently and the duo decided that becoming Ragin’ Cajuns was something that suited them best.
McNeal, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound wide receiver, broke Oxford’s single-season receiving record with 81 catches for 1,231 yards and 15 touchdowns this season despite not playing football since he was a freshman. Pettis, a 6-4, 250-pound tight end, also had a great season for the Chargers in 2010 as he caught 29 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns.
Both felt like playing together under Hudspeth, who got to know the duo when he coached wide receivers at Mississippi State, was the best overall option. (January 4, 2011, Page 7)
During halftime of the Ole Miss men’s game game against Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday, the former McDonald’s All-American and newest member of the Rebels was made available to the media for the first time.
While much has been made of Kendrick’s up-and-down prep career and his short-lived tenure at the University of Memphis, the transfer declined to discuss his past, instead focusing on the future and where he hopes to take the Ole Miss basketball program. (January 3, 2011, Page 6)
Chris Vaughn, Ole Miss’ recruiting coordinator for football, said four months ago at Ole Miss’ Media Day that he prefers to be in hunt mode when it comes to landing a recruit rather than protecting the verbal commitments he and the rest of the staff have already secured.
At the time, the Rebels had 14 verbal commitments and were about to garner another five before the 2010 season even started.
Vaughn and the rest of the staff have continued to gain commitments since that point, including the signatures of four junior college players earlier this month, but Vaughn will have to fight hard to regain a couple of players from Florida, the state that Vaughn has done a great job of recruiting since he arrived in Oxford. (December 23, 2010, Page 7A)
Ole Miss needs playmakers on offense and Alabama native Collins Moore seems to have the ability that could help the Rebels at wide receiver in the future.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Collins, who just got through playing for Bob Jones High School, plans to play for Ole Miss and coach Houston Nutt starting in the fall. Moore committed to the Rebels in August and has remained firmly committed ever since.
Moore is a receiver that has a knack of being able to go up and make the big catch, and Moore’s coach at Bob Jones, Kevin Rose, has been very impressed with his ability to catch the football. (December 23, 2010, Page 7A)
SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — Ole Miss’ need to find linebackers for the 2011 season got a boost as a prep standout from Florida said he wanted to play for the Rebels and coach Houston Nutt in the future. (more…) (December 22, 2010)
This season’s EAGLE All-Area football team was released in Thursday’s sports section. Unfortunately for me, space prevented me from writing a column that would appear next to the story on the back page.
So instead of it appearing on Thursday, I thought sharing my opinion on this year’s team was important.
For those who may have missed the players who made the team, Lafayette junior running back Demarkus Dennis was named Player of the Year, while another 11 Commodores who helped the school win the Class 4A state title made the first-team squad. Three other LHS players were named honorable mention.
Oxford had seven players on this year’s team, while Water Valley had five. Both the Chargers and Blue Devils each had three players receive honorable mention status. (December 17, 2010, Page 6A)
Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt saw his roster increase today as junior college football players started signing their National Letters of Intent.
For mid-year entrance, junior college players could start signing with a four-year college today and be eligible to participate in spring drills. As of press time, ASA College (Brooklyn, N.Y.) defensive back Ivan Nicholas (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) and teammate, defensive tackle Gilbert Pena (6-4, 315), had signed on with the Rebels.
Two other players, Copiah-Lincoln defensive back Wesley Pendleton (5-11, 180) and Iowa Western quarterback Zack Stoudt (6-5, 230), were expected to also sign with the Rebels later today. Stoudt, who started his college career at Louisville, recently visited Oxford and verbally committed to the Rebels on Tuesday over an offer from Kansas. (December 15, 2010, Page 8A)
Landing a seasoned junior college quarterback for the 2010 signing class was one of the many goals Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt wanted to achieve following the Rebels’ loss to Mississippi State last month. Thanks to a successful trip made by Iowa Western Community College’s Zack Stoudt over the weekend to Oxford, that goal got a lot closer to becoming a reality.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Stoudt chose the Rebels on Monday over serious interest from Kansas thanks in large part to his official visit to Ole Miss’ campus and the relationship he started to build with Nutt and quarterbacks coach Dave Rader. (December 14, 2010, Page 8)
SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — Signing a junior college quarterback was one of the things Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt wanted to accomplish this recruiting season and based on the way the weekend visit of Zack Stoudt went, that goal may be accomplished on Wednesday. (more…) (December 13, 2010)
According to recruiting websites RebelGrove.com and OMSpirit.com, Reserve, La., cornerback Floyd Raven committed to the Ole Miss football Rebels over the weekend while in Oxford on his official visit. (more…) (December 13, 2010, Page 3B)