By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – A former South Panola High School star called an “NFL corner” by his college coach will have to pursue the league by another route.
Nick Brassell is leaving Ole Miss.
First-year Rebels coach Hugh Freeze on Thursday said he had three players who failed to pass the required 18 hours, the first step in maintain eligibility to play football. On Friday, the university emailed a news release announcing Brassell’s decision to transfer.
“We did all we could do to help Nick, and we wish him the very best,” said Freeze.
The statuses for the remaining two players are “unresolved,” Freeze said.
Brassell earned All-America honors as a receiver and was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 recruit in Mississippi coming out of high school two years ago.
Former coach Houston Nutt played Brassell on both sides of the ball with offense as the first priority. Had he played this season, Freeze’s intention was for Brassell to focus on defense, cornerback, and learn four or five plays on offense.
Brassell participated in only three of 15 spring practices while focusing on his academics. Ultimately it wasn’t enough.
Brassell played in all 12 games as a freshman, starting six times at wide receiver and once at cornerback.
He was second on the team in receptions with 24, receiving yards with 336 and touchdowns with two.
Defensively he broke up five passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.