One of the state’s top football prospects has verbally committed to Mississippi State.
South Panola athlete Nickolas Brassell verbally committed to MSU on Sunday evening according to stories on Rivals.com and Scout.com, de-committed Monday afternoon and then recommitted to the Bulldogs program late Monday evening.
Brassell, who is considered a top 10 wide receiver prospect nationally, changed his mind twice according to OMSpirit.com, the Scout affiliate that covers Ole Miss athletics, but eventually ended up back with the Bulldogs program in less than three hours Monday evening.
A source close to the South Panola program told the Starkville Daily News Monday afternoon that both players were continuing to take visits to other schools and considered their recruiting open.
South Panola head coach Lance Pogue, who previously coached Eupora High School from 1998-2006, confirmed to the Starkville Daily News that Brassell's verbal commitment was solid toward Mississippi State.
“At South Panola, we still honor what the word commitment means,” Pogue said. “This confusion happened because to me when you say you’re committed then you’re saying I’m putting an end to the recruitment process.”
Pogue said Monday morning that he had spoken to Brassell and he is in the process of telling the numerous schools that he also received offers from (including Ole Miss, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Southern California) that he’s sticking with Mississippi State.
“Nick is well-equipped to make the transition to the next level no doubt about it,’ Pogue said. “I’m thrilled for Nick because what’s so important for people to understand is he’s a great kid from a great family and anytime a kid gets an opportunity like this it’s an exceptional day for everyone involved.”
Brassell is currently ranked as the best receiver prospect in the state of the Mississippi and has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard-dash. Last season Brassell led his team to the MHSAA Class 6A state title over Oak Grove and finished with an all-state selection after 62 catches for 1,272 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“Mississippi State got a great player that can play anywhere at receiver and will return kicks, punts – you name it and Nick will do it,” Pogue said. “He’s a great athlete that already faced great competition here at South Panola.”
The 6-foot-1, 176-pounder has caught 33 passes for 530 yards and eight touchdowns this season for the Class 6A program that has won six of the last seven MHSAA state championships and is currently ranked No. 2 in the country according to the latest USA Today high school poll.
The Jackson Clarion-Ledger confirmed with Pogue that Brassell’s teammate Kendrick Market, who is a two-star safety/athlete prospect, is also sticking with his verbal commitment to State as well.
Market has rushed for 377 yards and three touchdowns and has also rushed for a pair of two-point conversions. He has 30 tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and four interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns.
Mississippi State fans in the local area can get their first look at the South Panola pair when the Tigers, who are a perfect 8-0, travel to Starkville High to play a region game on October 29.
Verbal commitments of any kind are non-binding agreements and universities are prohibited from commenting on players until they receive a signed letter-of-intent from the prospect.
National Signing Day for the 2011 recruiting class will occur on Feb. 2.