By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The first installment of Tupelo’s National Select 7-on-7 Qualifying Tournament got off to a fast start Friday afternoon.
Perhaps the biggest name in the event, Florence (Ala.) quarterback Kendrick Doss verbally committed to Ole Miss not long after the gates opened at Ballard Park.
“I talked to the whole coaching staff. Everybody knows me. Everybody shows me love when I go down there,” Doss said. “It was like a family atmosphere. You just feel the love.”
Doss and Florence head coach Jamey DuBose raved about the relationship Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner built with Doss, who said Freeze came and personally offered him a scholarship.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Doss and the Falcons are trying to win the two-day tournament for a berth in the Hoover National Tournament in July, but all the talk Friday was about what Doss can do at the next level, not in Hoover.
Pool play continues today at 9 a.m., followed by a double-elimination tournament in the afternoon.
Listed a dual-threat quarterback, DuBose says Doss still isn’t getting the appreciation for the throwing part of his game.
“He’s got a tremendous arm,” DuBose said. “That’s the thing. People keep calling, questioning. There are a lot of rumors out there that he’s just a runner. He’s got a rocket for an arm. I really believe you’re seeing a future star in the SEC.”
Freeze and the Rebels made quite an impact on the 4-star senior. He chose to go to Oxford over a list of offers that included Mississippi State, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Southern Miss and Tennessee.
He threw for 1,743 yards last season with 16 touchdowns and five picks, completing 59 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 21 touchdowns.
DuBose called Doss a student of the game. His off-the-field student accomplishments rival his football numbers. Doss will graduate in December and enroll at Ole Miss.
“I’m looking forward to competing. That’s why I’m graduating early,” Doss said. “I’m going there to compete.”
DuBose has a team full of prospects and the way he talks about Ole Miss’ recruiting style, there’s a good chance the Rebels pay regular visits to North Alabama.
Ole Miss’ recent top five class had a lot to do with Doss’ choice, the likes of the nation’s top receiver Laquon Treadwell joining the team. The Rebels are off to good start toward an equally as regarded 2014 class.
“They got the No. 1 receiver, No. 1 and 2 tackles, so that was big,” Doss said. “That did play a factor.”