By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Senquez Golson had more than a million reasons to walk way from college football, but that’s not what he’s decided to do.
The Pascagoula star signed with Ole Miss in February and is a critical piece of Houston Nutt’s plan to rebuild the Rebels’ secondary.
Golson, though, went in the eighth round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft last week, taken by Boston with the 262nd pick.
Golson told The Mississippi Press that he would not sign for less than $1.3 million.
The Red Sox discussed with him a signing bonus of more than a million, but a formal offer was contingent upon his participation in a workout in Boston later this month. He declined to attend the workout, because doing so would have delayed his enrollment at Ole Miss until August.
He plans to be on campus for the second summer term to join the conditioning program and give himself the best chance to compete for playing time when camp begins.
Golson said his negotiations with the Red Sox are “pretty much over at this point. I’m going to school for football.”
MLB clubs have until Aug. 15 to sign their draft picks. At this point, it appears unlikely Boston will get Golson’s signature.
“We got over a million, but I was going to have to go to Boston for a workout. Then I wasn’t going to be able to enroll in school until August, and that would have put me behind.”
Nutt greeted the news with cautious enthusiasm.
“It’s big news. Big, big news, and it sounds good,” he said. “I’m just hoping Boston does not come back in there, but I feel good about it. We really need him to get to Oxford. He’s an exciting player.”
Golson was rated the No. 33 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com, the No. 25 cornerback by Scout.com.
Dealing with injury and attrition, the Rebels lacked numbers at cornerback in the spring. Junior college transfer Wesley Pendleton and redshirt sophomore Charles Sawyer emerged as starters. Senior Marcus Temple is expected to return from sports hernia surgery when August practice begins. Redshirt freshman Cliff Coleman was also in the mix in the spring.
“Hopefully I can get up there and do what I have to do to, if not stat, get a lot of playing time at corner and on special teams,” Golson said.
Nutt says he could see a rapid depth chart ascent for Golson if Golson puts in the work.
“He will get a lot of snaps from Day 1 because of the numbers. He could be second team very, very fast and have an opportunity to get in the rotation, to be in different packages. We’re excited,” Nutt said.
The Ole Miss coach observed Golson at camps as well as in high school games and came away impressed with a blend of speed, physicality and intangibles that he says sets him a part from many players.
“He’s very smart, very fast and very physical. Those are the ingredients you need at corner. Now he just has to adjust from Friday night to Saturday night, and we have every confidence in the world that he will.”
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.