Nick Brassell, a potential NFL corner, can cover a lot of ground on a football field. Before he’ll get the chance he has to cover a lot of ground in the classroom.
So far he’s off to a good start.
A part of Ole Miss’ top-10 signing class as a mid-term enrollee, Brassell’s mere enrollment at the university doesn’t equate to football eligibility. Starting with a clean slate would have required him to graduate from community college. Because he chose to return to Ole Miss – where he began his NCAA football career in 2011 – Brassell inherits the academic progress with which he departed, which is to say he inherits a mess.
The fact that Brassell had to leave then spent a fall semester away may have assisted in the maturation process.
“I couldn’t be more pleased in the difference I’ve seen in him last spring and this spring and his attention to the things required of him,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.
Freeze and his staff keep a watchful eye on the academic progress of all their players. Brassell’s case is monitored by Derek Cowherd, the head of the school’s academic support division for athletics.
If he is to use his skill on the field in 2013, Brassell has to maneuver through his previous transcript and make enough progress to become eligible before the fall.
The NCAA requires athletes entering their junior seasons competition to have completed 40 percent of degree requirements and have at least a 1.9 GPA.
Brassell, an All-American at South Panola, played offense, defense and special teams for Houston Nutt in 2011. His primary position was wide receiver.
Brassell went through a little bit of spring in 2012 – very little – missing most of it in an effort to get his grades in order then. Freeze saw enough of him to call him an “NFL corner” at the time.
He hopes to see more of Brassell this spring, and he’s hopeful he will because of Brassell’s fast start in the classroom this semester.
“We’re doing spring in the morning. Three mornings out of the week. As long as he continues to do what is expected I’d like to honor him with that. If he starts missing stuff we’ll say just forget it. We anticipate him going through the spring.”