"I am just focused on winning a State Championship and gaining some more
weight," Dickens added at the Hoover 7-on-7 tournament. "Ole Miss
wants me to come in around 210 to 220. I have lost a few pounds this summer
because of all of the 7-on-7 tournaments we have been playing in. I am about
197 right now. I was up to 205 before this summer."
Alfred Dickens has had a busy summer.
"I have just been working out really hard, and 7-on7- with my team to help
us gel together for another state championship. We won one my sophomore year
and then last season we came up just short. I am hungry to get another one."
Olive Branch has a new quarterback at the helm and the outlook is bright.
"Things are looking real good. Ross Trail has brought so much to the table
for our offense. We are just so multiple now. He is very comfortable in the
system that we run. We are going to be a pretty dangerous group."
The backbone of the Conquistadors' team comes from its linebackers. They bring
arguably the state's linebacker trio to the table.
"Me and Fred Walls and Devontae Davis have played a lot of football together.
We have basically been playing since we were in pee wee ball. We just know out
tendencies and that really helps out a lot. We really do not feel any pressure
to live up to everyone's expectations. We just go out and do what we know we
have to do, just play ball. The other stuff, we just worry about that afterworlds,
but I would be lying if I did not say that there are a lot of expectations placed
on our shoulders. The whole community is just so eager to get another state
championship. That is the only thing on anybody's minds these days. Everywhere
you go they just nod at you and say lets go. We can't wait to get out there
and get another one."
This offseason Dickens has worked on a few things individually.
"I have really worked on my quickness. I am trying to fly to the ball and
work on my reads and my keys a little bit. I am also working on my back peddling
when I am at safety."
The position that the '12 1st Team All-State selection will play next fall
is still up in the air.
"Ole Miss is telling me that if I am big enough I will play linebacker
and if not I will play safety. If I do play linebacker they are talking to me
about playing stinger or that rover spot."
What attracted '11 All-State performer to Ole Miss?
"It is just a great environment around there. The coaches are very business
like and joke around when it is time to joke, but when it is time to come down
to business, they get real serious. My sister is also going to school down there
so it is just a family environment. My whole family loves Ole Miss."
Despite his commitment to the Rebels a couple more schools are still trying
to change his mind.
"MSU still sends me stuff. FSU offered me a few weeks back. Arkansas is
also staying in touch. They just tell me to keep them in mind if I were to ever
change my mind. They know I am solid though."
When did FSU become interested?
"Coach (Tim) Brewster did coach at MSU, and he was down there when State
offered me. Now he offered me at FSU. They do not want to put out my business
like that, but if I do want to come down there and visit the invitation is open.
They are very interested in me and want me to be a Nole."
How solid is Alfred with his commitment.
"Very solid. Like I said, our whole family loves Ole Miss. It is home to
Dickens has also been building bonds with several other Ole Miss recruits.
"I have gotten real close with Dayall Harris, C.J. Hampton, and Tyler Putman.
We all facebook or twitter each other pretty much every day. Now we are trying
to get a few other guys to Ole Miss to jump on board. We all have been working
Breeland Speaks really hard. We got a big group already committed from Mississippi
so we are trying to get everyone else to come with us."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at email@example.com