October 13, 2008

Rebel commitment updates status

Two key safeties on the Rebel roster - senior Jamarca Sanford and junior Kendrick Lewis - are advancing in age, making the signing of some prospects at that position a priority for Ole Miss' next signing class.



The Rebels received a commitment from Missouri City (Hightower HS), Texas true safety Dele Junaid late last July, but that hasn't stopped several other schools from continuing to recruit him.

"I'm hearing a lot from Kansas State, Baylor, and North Texas right now," Junaid said on Sunday.

None of those schools have offered yet and Junaid's current offers are from Ole Miss, Buffalo, and Louisiana-Lafayette.

So, where does that leave him with his commitment to Ole Miss?

"Right now, I'm committed to Ole Miss and that's it," Junaid said. "But it's a long way until signing day and anything can happen, but for now, it's just Ole Miss."

Junaid took an unofficial visit to Ole Miss last summer prior to making a verbal pledge and called the campus "nice with a good environment."

Since he's already been on campus, making a return visit isn't a big priority and he is yet to make plans for an official visit, which he said likely wouldn't happen until December or January.

Meanwhile, he receives a weekly call from Rebels safety coach Kim Dameron, who is recruiting him for Ole Miss.

"He's just calling, checking up on me and seeing how I'm doing," Junaid said. "He's telling me I need to set up my official visit."

Junaid said his Hightower team is off to a 4-0 start, having two games cancelled due to the hurricane and that he has accounted for about 20 tackles, two pass breakups, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, and a touchdown.

He said he hasn't talked to Dameron about his role at Ole Miss, including such things as the potential for early playing time, but that he expects to play safety at the next level.

Junaid plays strictly defense for his team, which went four games deep into the state playoffs prior to being eliminated last fall.

"I just like playing safety," he said. "Maybe I prefer free safety because that gets me all over the field."

"Dele is going to be very good when he gets comfortable at the position," Hightower coach Shane Hallmark told Rivals.com. "He can hit though."

While the football team fell short of its goal of a state championship when they lost in the fourth round of the Class 5A playoffs this year, Junaid is hoping to win a state title in another sport. The Hurricanes are the reigning champions in track and field and last year's 4 x 200 relay team even set the national high school record. Junaid is helping Hightower try to repeat as champions.

Junaid has already scored an 18 on his ACT and has a 2.5 in his core subjects and an overall GPA around 2.9.



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