Winding Down?

Mitch Parsons

Mitch Parsons didn't wait long in the recruitment process to make a decision. He chose his home-state school, Colorado, back in March. But the Buffaloes had a bad season, resulting in the firing of head coach Jon Embree. Now Parsons is back on the market, and one school stands out.

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"I took a visit to Ole Miss last weekend," Parsons said. "They were actually the second team to offer me last November but I committed to Colorado. I didn't give Ole Miss much thought with their new staff until the whole ordeal went down here at Colorado. Ole Miss started getting back in touch with me as soon as I de-committed."

What were Ole Miss' selling points to get him on the trip?

"I had always heard they lost (games) so I was excited to see that part of it. They told me I had a chance at some early playing time because they have three tight ends graduating. They also play in the best conference in America so I wanted to go check it out."

What else did Parsons want to learn about the Rebels before arriving on his trip?

"I didn't know much about them because I don't get to watch much college football. I'm always studying film on Saturdays so I don't watch much college football. I wanted to get to know my position coach, Maurice Harris, better. I wanted to see how they used their tight ends. Coach (Hugh) Freeze seemed so down to earth and genuine. I liked that Oxford is super nice. I really wanted to see it for myself. I'm glad I did. That's what convinced me to come on the trip to start with. Everybody told me how nice Oxford was and it was everything they told me and some."

How did Ole Miss use its tight ends in the Egg Bowl Saturday and does the Rebels' offensive scheme fit Parsons' skill-set?

"First, coach Harris is a great guy. I can really tell that he cares for the guys he works with and he cares about his players. He has a strong faith which was very important to me. They open up each meeting with a (Bible) verse, and I thought that was really cool and neat. I just liked hanging out with coach Harris. As far as the tight end situation, they lose three seniors and have two tight ends committed right now. They're going to bring in one more and then they're done. I watched a lot of film with coach Harris on how they use their tight ends. We looked at their different formations and routes they run and really like how they use their tight ends in their offense."

The Parker, Col., product describes his game.

"I'm not the fastest guy but I'm good at getting open. I find the zone and catch the ball and can catch it at its highest point. I have an advantage on the corners because I'm bigger and an advantage on the linebackers because I'm faster. I like to block and get nasty, too. I play on edge."

What stood out about Ole Miss over everything else?

"The atmosphere. Everybody there lives for Ole Miss football. I was walking through the Square and everybody was yelling 'Hotty Toddy' at me and yelling out my name. I was like I've never seen any of these people in my life and everybody knows who I am. Everybody around the community told me how much they love coach Freeze. That's important to me because you want the support from the fans because I want to play for one staff in college. Stability is important, and I know I would get that at Ole Miss. And I got to go through the Walk of Champions. I went through there with Elijah Daniel and Josh Augusta. We all said we had never seen anything like that. It was amazing to witness. You just visualize what their players get to go through every week and gets you excited as a recruit. We went to the sidelines before the game started and it was so loud you couldn't hear yourself think. Their fans are so into their football. And just the general southern hospitality. The people in the South are so nice. I had never been down to the South before so it was fun to experience it firsthand."

Mitch met with Freeze before going back home.

"I went over to coach Freeze's house for breakfast. I'm going back down to Oxford on December 7th. I was supposed to take an official visit to Cal-Berkeley but they also fired their staff. My mom had already bought a plane ticket for the Cal visit so she exchanged it so she could go see Ole Miss. Nobody in my family got to see Ole Miss on my last trip and I want them to see why I like it so much. Coach Freeze is actually coming to my house tonight with coach (Matt) Luke. I told coach Freeze if my parents were there with me on that last trip I would have committed, but I wanted my mom to get a chance to see it first before I do. He told me that was smart."

Where has Parsons visited in the past and where does he go next?

"I've been to Arizona State, Nebraska, and Colorado unofficially. I'm going to Vandy on January 18th but we'll have to see what happens on my trip to Ole Miss and see if (the Vanderbilt visit) happens."

Which schools have offered?

"California, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Vandy, Colorado, and BYU. It's basically down to Ole Miss and Vandy though."



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


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