December is one of the most boring sports months on the calendar for fans of college athletics. Most of us sit around waiting for our bowl game to get here, and the college basketball schedule will have an occasional good game, (ours this weekend against Oregon State might be be pretty good) but other than that there isn’t a whole lot to watch. Sure, if you’re an NFL fan then you might be captivated by the conclusion of the NFL season and upcoming playoffs. I’m a Raiders’ fan, so I don’t think I really need to elaborate any more. Despite that, you guys did have some questions.
I actually answered this last week in the mailbag as well. The offensive line may have some hiccups early in the season, but I think they will be fine. It looks like there will be five guys competing for three spots. Justin Malone and Justin Senior should start next year since they did this year as well. That leaves Jamal Clayborn, Devon Desper, Deion Calhoun, Jocquell Johnson, and Rufus Warren competing for the last three spots on the offensive line. The only incoming recruit that might be able to compete as a true freshman would be Tommy Champion of Callaway. I think it is a solid group, and once they get some time together, they will be fine.
I haven’t heard about any new commits or decommits, but everything seems to be going well for all of our guys that are coming in next year. Donald Gray had an incredible year for Co-Lin Community College. He averaged over 18 yards a catch and 20 yards per punt return. Co-Lin lost to East Mississippi Community College in the State Championship Game. At the high school level, Jamal Peters helped lead Bassfield to another State Championship. He had 109 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards, but he is coming in to play safety. He had 4 tackles in the Championship Game, and one was for a loss.
Considering that there was a flurry of activity from Ole Miss on the recruiting trail the last few days, I’d have to say Blevins was telling the truth in this regard. Ole Miss changed their offer of an immediate scholarship to Walls of Olive Branch to a gray shirt, then picked up a commitment from Terry Caldwell of Northwest Community College. And the big news for them came yesterday that Chad “Swag” Kelly was going to sign with Ole Miss and enroll at the end of this semester. So that seems like Blevins was telling it like it is in that tweet. Here is the thing about recruiting coverage that a lot of people forget. Coaches can’t talk publicly about a recruit that has not signed a letter of intent. So when they are being interviewed by reporters and being recorded, the coaches won’t say one word about a specific recruit. But once the recording goes off, reporters will often ask the coach off the record, and then the coaches talk. This is how they get a lot of their info. I’d be surprised if Blevins hadn’t been informed off the record about some of the things that were getting ready to happen at Ole Miss when he tweeted that out.
The spitting incident and subsequent punch that Dak Prescott supposedly threw drew a lot of talk after the Egg Bowl. I’m not really going to get into it, because neither player has talked about it since then. If they are both letting it go, I think we probably should too. The hit Elston took on Dak, I also answered it in the mailbag last week. It’s really easy to make the argument either way. The whistle blew, you could hear it and Dak ran for a while after the whistle blew but you could tell he was slowing up, so Elston never should have done that. If you want to defend Elston, you can say he just sees Dak running to the end zone and goes to make a play. There will be no convincing the other side, so I don’t really see any point in spending a ton of time on it. If Dak had been injured, it’s a completely different story. Thankfully he wasn’t so it’s time to move on.
The kicking game is the low hanging fruit of the Mississippi State football team, but I think it’s time we lay off Sobes. We might not believe it, but Sobes improved about as much as anyone on the field throughout the course of the season. He hit 10 of 12 field goals and actually made his longest of 45 in the Egg Bowl. Yes, he missed one that he should have hit in that same game, but so did a lot of kickers this year. If I know we have a field goal kicker that can hit 85% of his field goals from within 45 yards next year, I am going to be pretty happy with the kicking game.
Time to get something off my chest. I hate that any fans of any team in any sport like to say “go to hell (insert team name)”. I just don’t like it. If you are a Christian, and many who do this exact same thing profess to be Christians, do you realize what you are saying? Yes, I know you don’t mean it or literally want them to go to Hell, but think about what you’re saying. I have never used that phrase to anyone or about anything. I think it is an awful thing to say or to wish one anyone. i obviously can’t tell you what is right or wrong to you, but I just can’t stand it. So this really isn’t the best question for me to answer.
If you want your question answered next week, just let me know and I will include it in the mailbag.