Decision Time

Decision Time

Sheldon Dawson, a National 300 member, finished his visit tour with a trip to Oxford, Miss., over the weekend. Now it's time to go over the pluses and minuses with each school, and a decision is pending.

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"Sheldon just doesn't know yet what he's going to do," Dawson's mother, Lashunta Moore, said on their way home from Ole Miss Sunday afternoon. "We'd planned to make his announcement tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at his school's (Ridgeway) library but we just don't know if he's going to know by then or not."

Mrs. Moore was able to accompany her son, Dawson, on the trip to Ole Miss.

"It was a little bit better than I anticipated because I had never been down there before. Until you actually go to see the school for yourself you never know what's really going on. It was real nice down there, beautiful actually. It was more than I expected. It's just a very safe community and a place where you can concentrate on your books and football. I think it would be a great environment for my son to be in."

What was she hoping to learn about Ole Miss before she went on the trip and what did she learn about those issues?

"Sheldon has already been down there a bunch so he kind of filled me in on some things, but I wanted to see what type of school it was and learn more about their academic programs. I got a chance to tour their campus, stadium, classes, just all of the facilities that the kids use down there."

What were her impressions?

"It's just a beautiful place, to be honest. Everything is set up real nice and they have a great academic program. That's what I liked most about Ole Miss. I just like how they help their kids, especially if they're struggling in the classroom. They make sure that their players stay on top of their books and provide them with a great academic support staff to keep their grades in order. It was very impressive. And as far as their facilities, everything was just first class down there. It's just a beautiful campus with beautiful facilities, both academically and athletically."

What stood out about Ole Miss to Sheldon?

"I think he also liked the academic setup, and of course he likes their athletic program, but overall I think Sheldon just likes the environment around their campus. Really, he just liked everything about the school, to be honest."

Sheldon echoed the same sentiments.

"I just wanted to check out the environment," he said. "It was just wonderful. I got to chill with my boy Jamal Mosley. D.T. Shackleford was my host and both of them just showed me around and introduced me to all of the players. Everybody is real upbeat down there, and they're all real hungry to turn it around."

What stood out over everything else for Sheldon?

"It was exactly what I thought it was going to be like because I had already been down there a lot. It just has that homey atmosphere. It's very peaceful, very peaceful, in Oxford. You can just chill and relax down there."

Dawson's mother also got a chance to trip with him to Memphis for an official visit with Sheldon.

"I only went on two trips and that was to Memphis and Ole Miss. The visit to Memphis was good too. They have a good academic program also. They have a good academic support staff down there too. They provide them with tutors and make sure they stay on top of things. It was just a good trip too."

What stood out most about Memphis?

"Everything was good but I'm a big academic person and that's my main concern for Sheldon. I was very impressed with their support staff. A lot of their football players get out with a degree in their hand. That's important to me and that's what stands out most about Memphis for me."

Sheldon's father went with him on the trip to Georgia but his mother is familiar with their staff.

"I've never been over there, but their coaches have been by our house a few times to discuss their academic setup. I just have not been able to see their campus yet to get a true feel for Georgia but their coaches seem like really good people. I do know that Sheldon liked the atmosphere down there, and he also likes their football program. He said he enjoyed himself when he went on his visit."

Will distance be an issue with their family?

"To be honest, yes, it is with me. It's an eight-hour ride over there, and that's a long ways for my boy to be leaving away from college, but I'm leaving it up to him to make that final decision. He knows I'm going to support his decision no matter if he wants to stay close to home and play at Ole Miss or Memphis or go off to school a school like Georgia. He's the one that has to live there the next four to five years, not me or his father. It's all up to him."



Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com

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