Video: Oxford WR DK Metcalf from Hoover 7-on-7

@brandonspeck

HOOVER, Ala. – Talked with Oxford WR DK Metcalf yesterday about the National Select 7-on-7 National Championships, Ole Miss, Oxford’s upcoming season and other stuff.

Click here for the story from today’s #DJournal, plus video of the interview.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Oxford draws tough day

@brandonspeck

Oxford went 3-4 in pool play at Friday’s National Select 7-on-7 National Championships.

The Chargers are the No. 17 seed in today’s 32-team tournament and open with New York’s Shenendehowa at 9 a.m.

A win could pit the Chargers against top-seeded and 7-0 Brandon, if the Bulldogs beat Hope (Ark.).

Games are streamed on select70n7.com.

 

Posted in Sports

Video: Hoover WR commits to Mississippi State

@oxfordcitizenjd

@brandonspeck

HOOVER, Ala. — Mississippi State picked up a commitment Friday morning from 2015 Hoover, Ala. wide receiver Justin Johnson.

At the National Select 7-on-7 National Championships, Johnson told the Oxford Citizen’s John Davis that he had called State coaches to let them know he wanted to join the class.

“Really just a big family,” Johnson said. “That’s the first school I’ve been to and they’re showing love ever since.”

MSU offered Johnson July 19, 2013.

247Sports lists Johnson at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, a 3-star prospect. He said he chose MSU over Georgia and Kentucky. It is State’s 19th commitment.

His offer sheet also included UAB, Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky

“I think it’s a deal where he has a lot of confidence in State and he sees what they’re doing, how they’re running the program now,” Hoover wide receivers coach Aryvia Holmes said. “State came in early and they’ve offered a lot of our kids. They’ve been dilligent about seeing the kids. When it’s recruiting season, they’re always here. They’re always calling our kids and I couldn’t be more pleased with Mississippi State. We told them that they’re going to get some of them. Justin happens to be the first one and I’m happy for him.”

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Hill: Chargers’ loss in Hoover would be disappointing

@brandonspeck

HOOVER, Ala. – Oxford is one of 32 teams in Hoover today for the National Select 7-on-7 National Championships. The Chargers were here last year and finished fourth.

Coach Johnny Hill told me Thursday that the Chargers would be disappointed if they don’t win it. Pool play starts at 9 a.m., Oxford facing Hoover at Hoover High.

It’s the first of seven games. Oxford’s final three will be at Hoover Met, aka Regions Park.

Here is a link to my story in today’s #DJournal and below are the teams participating. 

Posted in Football, Recruiting

MHSAA to announce football move Monday

@brandonspeck

The Clarion Ledger tweeted Thursday that the MHSAA will hold a press conference Monday to announce changes to the state’s football championships.

The MHSAA sent an email that says the announcements will include changes for basketball and football, including change of venue for both. The Daily Journal was told that some of the expanded basketball tournament will be played at Jackson State.

The press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the MHSAA offices in Clinton.

Posted in Sports

Former DJ POY Fells scoring lots for New Orleans

@brandonspeck

Former Shannon and NC State standout Courtney Fells is making his case for the NBA.

Fells is scoring in bunches for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Fells, who averaged 23.6 points per game as a senior at Shannon and was the Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year, played at NC State from 2005-2009. For the Wolfpack, he averaged 9.5 points. He was the Daily Journal’s 2005 Player of the Year.

He has played overseas until signing on with New Orleans’ summer league team in late June. Fells scored six points against a D-League Select Team. Against the Lakers, Fells played 23 minutes and scored 25 points. He hit 9-of-13 from the field. He made 4-of-6 from deep. He made all three attempts from the line.

He scored 19 points and had five rebounds against the Spurs.

New Orleans was playing Charlotte Thursday.

 

Posted in Basketball

Video: SEC Media Days: Freeze talks Channing Ward

@brandonspeck

Former Aberdeen star Channing Ward, the Daily Journal’s 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, was a jewel of Hugh Freeze’s first class at Ole Miss.

As a freshman in Oxford, Ward had 21 tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Last season, he had 24 tackles and a team-high seven quarterback hurries. One of two forced fumbles made the highlight reel – an immediate GIF – when he leveled kick returner Brian Kimbrow in the season-opener at Vanderbilt.

So Ward has made his mark, but not the mark coaches think he can. That’s because the expectation for him is astronomical. And like the hit at Vandy or the six tackles he made against Arkansas last season, he’s shown why they expect so much.

More in Friday’s #DJournal, but here is what Freeze had to say Thursday about Ward during SEC Media Days. He said it has taken Ward longer to find his groove than expected. But there are reasons.

“Channing’s one of my favorite kids to coach,” Freeze said. “I love having him on the team. He’s such an athletic kid. He got there late his freshman year. We had depth issues. With those depth issues, all of them had to play. It really would have done him justice if he could have had a redshirt year. We’re just trying to find the place he can help us the best.”

Freeze won’t rule out a redshirt this season.

Here is Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt on Ward.

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Posted in Football

Mitchell thinks his Memphis commit is better

@brandonspeck

Starkville quarterback Brady Davis is going to Memphis, at least.

Davis, who threw for 2,626 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions at a 50 percent rate last season before transferring from New Hope, committed to the Tigers on June 24.

We think he’s better than that,” Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell said.

That’s not a slight to Memphis. It’s a compliment to Davis, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. He impressed Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin at camp.

His offers include Alcorn State, Louisiana Tech, Eastern Michigan, South Florida, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Troy and Mississippi Valley.

There’s nothing wrong with (mid-major offers),” Mitchell said. “He’s excited about the opportunity to go to Memphis, but we’re hoping maybe some of the bigger fish are going to start biting. He’s got to keep doing what he’s doing.”

Posted in Football, Recruiting

TCPS coach hosting invite baseball showcase

@brandonspeck

Tupelo Christian baseball coach Will Lowrey is making sure Mississippi baseball players get as many eyes on them as possible.

His first BSN Sports Mississippi Elite Underclassmen Showcase is scheduled for July 23-24 at TCPS. It’s an invitation-only, state-wide event and is free to the athletes.

“The Mississippi Elite Underclassmen Showcase is designed simply to promote Mississippi athletes to the next level,” Lowrey said via release, “as well as to educate what is needed to successfully give yourself the best chance to be recruited before it is too late.”

Lowrey has invited college and pro scouts to evaluate 130 of Mississippi’s best high school baseball players. There are two teams each for ninth-11th grades and four teams for incoming seniors. Seniors and juniors will participate on Wednesday, sophomores and freshmen on Thursday.

Prep, college and pro scouts took part in the invitation selection process. Players will go through a seven-inning game, 60-yard dash, velocity readings, shuttle runs and other skill trials.

The event is open to the public. All-day admission is $10 and concessions will be available. Lowrey intends to keep it free to players through sponsorship.

Here are the schools scheduled to attend, as well as scouts from the Royals, Reds, Twins and Nationals.

Northwestern State, Samford, Louisiana Tech, Delta State, West Alabama, Mississippi College, Blue Mountain, Belhaven, Mississippi Delta CC, Northwest CC, Northeast CC, Itawamba CC, Gulf Coast CC, Meridian, Jones CC, Hinds CC.
Posted in Baseball, Recruiting

SEC Media Days Video: MSU mates call Chris Jones, “freak”

@brandonspeck

HOOVER, Ala. – Chris Jones’ wild – and nationally documented – recruiting trail is way in the rear view. And his future is bright, really, really bright. The 2012 #DJournal Defensive Player of the Year made an immediate impact as a freshman at Mississippi State.

He started three games for the Bulldogs. He played in all 13. Jones finished with 32 tackles and team-highs of seven tackles-for-loss (tied with LB Benardrick McKinney) and 10 quarterback hurries.

Athlon has named the 6-foot-5, 300 defensive lineman a Preseason All-American and Monday he was named to the Lombardi watchlist.

I talked with two teammates today at SEC Media Days, McKinney and safety Jay Hughes. Both, not at the same time, called Jones a “freak.”

Here is video of McKinney and Hughes.

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Posted in Football, Sports

Video: Can Fletcher Adams add TE to his four stars?

@brandonspeck

Brandon DT/DE Fletcher Adams is already one of Mississippi’s most feared – and coveted – defensive linemen. Friday at the National Select 7-on-7 Qualifier in Tupelo, Miss., he played tight end. College coaches haven’t yet seen that aspect, but he’s pretty sure he can do that at the collegiate level, too.

“Fletcher’s got an unbelievable motor on everything he does,” Brandon coach Brad Peterson said. “Because of what he’s been able to do out here, we’re going to put in some third down packages for him and some red zone packages.”

Here’s the 4-star, who lists his top five as Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama and Missouri.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Video: QB Hawkins talks move from Tish County

@brandonspeck

@brandonspeck

@brandonspeck

TUPELO – Florence, Ala. quarterback Blake Hawkins left Tishomingo County after last season for more than football reasons. His father works in North Alabama, so it makes family sense.

But we’d all be kidding if we didn’t think football was part of it. And it was a move he had to make.

Talked with the sizeable QB at Tupelo’s National Select 7-on-7 Qualifier about his football future and what it means to go from a 2-9 team with no prospects to a 6A school in Alabama with an Alabama commit among a handful of Division I prospects.

Here is my story and some video with Hawkins. 

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Posted in Sports

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