By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Ross Smith is stuck in the game – not the game on the field, but the recruiting game.
Booneville’s 6-foot-6, 300-pound left tackle has drawn praise from opponents, opposing coaches and college coaches.
Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss have all expressed interest. Junior colleges would love to suit Smith up next season but with four-year schools coming by but not yet offering, he isn’t sure yet what he’ll do.
“I haven’t gotten one yet, but hopefully one will pop up and I’ll have an early Christmas present,” Smith said. “I want to stay in North Mississippi, around here. That’s where I grew up. That’s where all my family is.”
Any of the state’s Big Three may yet offer and walking on at any of them is a standing possibility. The junior college route is already offering scholarship aid.
Ole Miss visited Smith on Monday. Mississippi State was there Thursday. He hasn’t heard from Southern since Ellis Johnson was fired. Smith grew up a Mississippi State fan.
“When it comes to your college and playing football, it doesn’t matter, I just want to play football somewhere,” Smith said. “I like Ole Miss. I like the people there. I like the people at State. Whatever place likes me, I like them.”
STILL ON THE BOARD
Amory coach Trent Hammond said this week that wide receiver Dario Robinson hadn’t yet committed. His offer sheet includes Alcorn State, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin.
Robinson led the state in several receiving categories last season. This season, he led Amory with more than 1,000 yards rushing when the Panthers needed a running back. His 52 catches were also a team high.
The SECschools chasing Itawamba AHS running back Ashton Shumpert are chasing him all over.
Vanderbilt coaches paid him a home visit last week. Ole Miss found him at a basketball game on Tuesday and MSU left their visit in Booneville for Fulton on Thursday.
“I plan on waiting until signing day, but I have had thoughts to just knock it down to five or four, three or two maybe,” Shumpert said.