He’s confident he’ll clear his remaining hurdle before SEC football as well.
A prep All-American at South Panola, Brassell is awaiting his ACT score from February, the first time he took the test.
“I’ve been taking online prep classes. That’s why I’ve been waiting all year to take it. I went in feeling pretty good about it, and I feel I did good,” he said.
Brassell gained fame as a wide receiver but played on both sides of the ball for the Tigers. Though he’ll be introduced to the offensive side first, it’s possible he could play more than one position at Ole Miss.
Brassell had 114 catches and 29 touchdown receptions over the last two years at South Panola.
The Rebels need help at wide receiver. The top pass-catcher on last year’s team was a running back, and the team’s top deep threat and leader in touchdown catches with six, Markeith Summers, will not be back.
Spring ball for the receivers was a mixed bag of results, some big plays, some dropped balls.
“We still have a ways to go to get to the SEC level, the championship level we like to compete at, but if the guys are willing to work to get there, we’ll have some good things happen for us,” said wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer, one of three new coaches hired in the off-season by Houston Nutt.
Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix has been adamant that incoming freshman C.J. Johnson will play a key role.
Brassell is one of five wide receivers signed. Brewer says he’ll be counting on newcomers to make the Rebels a big-play offense.
“We need some playmakers that can cause explosions to happen so that we can go touchdown or 18- to 20- to 3- to 40-yard gains. I need them to kind of push the other guys to grow into that spot where they can compete for the starting position,” Brewer said.
Melvin Harris led the Rebels with 2.73 catches per game last year, but that ranked just 21st in the SEC. Summers averaged 47.92 receiving yards per game last year, tops on the team but just 14th in the conference.
The national leader was coached by Brewer at Oklahoma State, Justin Blackmon with 148.50 yards a game.
Receiver isn’t the only place the Rebels need help. There’s a starting spot open at cornerback as Ole Miss tires to improve a secondary that ranked last in the SEC in pass defense efficiency.
Nix liked what he saw from his cornerback candidates in the spring, but Brassell’s speed could make him a candidate to be a situational player – or maybe more.
“After you figure out what he can do offensively then maybe you can put him in position as a returner or maybe a third-down player,” Brewer said. “It’s so hard in the SEC to play two positions, especially as a freshman. I’d hate to put that on him.”
Clearly, though, Brassell could be an asset in more than one place, and the possibility of multiple positions has been discussed.
“I’m down to do it, because I played both ways in high school. We just want to do something special there in Oxford. We want to make a big impact in the SEC, and a lot of guys are just going to have to do what they have to do for us to be a better team than last year,” Brassell said. “Wherever we need help at, if it’s subbing in on third-and-long on defense, I’ll do that. We’ve got a lot of playmakers on offense.”
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.