By Parrish Alford | NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Lafayette High School quarterback Jeremy Liggins sat at a table inside a restaurant on Oxford’s famed Square and left the home-town team at the altar.
News began to break in the early afternoon on Monday that Liggins would announce not for Ole Miss but for LSU. He confirmed that news later in the evening, choosing the Tigers before a packed house at Iries On The Square.
The Liggins announcement was the main attraction as part of an hour-long local radio program that also included verbal commitments from a handful of other Oxford-area players to various Mississippi community colleges.
The evening though – and the day before it – belonged to Jeremy Liggins.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, Liggins led the Commodores to back-to-back state championships and perfect seasons.
“I feel like I made a great decision, because I believe in LSU football, the coaching staff and the players that are around there,” Liggins said. “I wanted to go with a program that was going to help me win and get to the next level.”
Liggins said LSU coach Les Miles expressed great confidence him throughout the recruiting process.
“He told me I was his guy ever since I went down there. He hasn’t changed his word not one bit,” Liggins said.
Liggins drew interest from a number of colleges, and while he played things close to the vest, in recent weeks he had whittled his list down to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and LSU. Alabama and Auburn helmets joined those three on the table before Liggins.
Verbal commitments are non-binding, but Liggins is adamant that his recruiting is closed. Wednesday is National Signing Day, the first day recruits can sign scholarship papers with NCAA-member schools.
Liggins is rated the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback, the No. 7 player in Mississippi by Rivals.com. He had been a routine visitor to the Ole Miss campus at various athletic events.
Rebels left shorthanded
Without Liggins, the Ole Miss class is down to one quarterback commitment, but it’s the most important one for the short-term: Junior college transfer Bo Wallace.
Brentwood, Tenn., quarterback C.J. Beathard withdrew his verbal commitment earlier Monday and said he would sign with Iowa.
Wallace played at East Mississippi Community College for only one season, 2011, in which he set passing records and led the Lions to the national championship.
He has enrolled, will go through spring drills, and has three years of eligibility remaining. Before transferring to EMCC, Wallace spent a year under Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze while Freeze was offensive coordinator at Arkansas State.
Other Monday night announcements from the Square included an impressive haul for Itawamba CC:
Lafayette: Jamel Dennis, LB, ICC; DeMarkous Dennis, RB, ICC; Tyler Jackson, K, ICC; D.Q. Reynolds, DL, ICC; Jeremiah Jones, DB, Holmes CC; Dylan Gossett, TE, Holmes CC.
Oxford: Mont Dean, RB, Northwest CC; Robert Liggins, WR, Northwest CC; K.C. Lamar, DL, Northwest CC.
Water Valley: Chris Conard, CB, ICC; C.J. Jackson, LB, ICC.