In today’s Journal is a story about high school prospects making a verbal commitment, and more specifically, the timing of it (CLICK HERE). Itawamba AHS running back Ashton Shumpert, an MSU target, is taking the patient approach. He’s gathering information, taking visits, and listening to his elders.
"My family is telling me to take it slow, to kind of get to know all the schools before I make a decision,” Shumpert said.
One thing he said in the story that was particularly interesting: How teams fare in the 2012 season will play a big role in who Shumpert chooses. Besides MSU, he holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and a few non-SEC schools.
Here’s what he said about MSU: “Coach Mullen, every time we’ve went down there, all he’s talking about is hard work. I like that a lot.” And about Ole Miss: “I went to Ole Miss junior days. The coaches seemed real excited and everything, said they’re looking forward to having a great season.”
Good luck extrapolating anything significant from those statements, beyond the fact that Shumpert seems to enjoy hard work. He’s a sharp kid, as evidenced by the Vanderbilt offer, and he said his grades are good enough to be admitted to that school. He likes second-year coach James Franklin.
“He’s a really cool coach. He’s a real young guy, and he’s straightforward with you,” Shumpert said.
Shumpert said he plans on being at MSU’s Big Dawg camp later this month.
• Hey, more watch lists have been revealed, and the question of “What do I know?” has been answered.
Center Dillon Day, a sophomore, is on the Rimington Trophy watch list, along with about 50 other guys. That award goes to the nation’s top center. Sophomore Malcolm Johnson has made the watch list for the Mackey Award, which goes to the country’s best tight end. There are 33 players on that list.
• MSU baseballer Hunter Renfroe, who’s been tearing it up this summer, has been selected to play in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game, and he’ll also compete in the home run derby. Renfroe, an outfielder and catcher, is hitting .391 with a league-leading 12 home runs and 38 RBIs for the Bethesda (Md.) Big Train.
The home run derby is at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Bethesda, followed by the all-star game at 6:30.
• MSU baseball coach John Cohen told me this morning that signee William DuPont has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, who drafted the infielder in the 16th round. But, Cohen has signed a kid named Kyle Hann from Ontario. Hann is a highly rated middle infielder.
By the way, Cohen said MSU is “getting closer” to hiring a new assistant coach.