September 6, 2010

Ole Miss commitments react to upset loss

Justin Bell was on Ole Miss' campus Saturday for the outlandish upset that has been highlighted nationally since it occurred.

The Rebels' stunning, 49-48, loss to FCS member Jacksonville State hit hard for Bell and many of the 18 other Ole Miss commitments for the 2011 class, however the one game - as bad as it was -- isn't causing the prospects successfully contacted to make knee-jerk reactions regarding their college decisions.

Most saw the lethargic second-half collapse as something to learn from.

"(Ole Miss) was up 21 points and thought it was over, that's what I believe," said Bell, an offensive lineman from Callaway, Miss. "You slack even a little bit, and it's hard to get it back. That even happens in high school.

"But you have to keep pouring water on a drowning man."

Bell sat with several other commitments Saturday, including Aaron Morris, T.J. Worthy and Donte Moncrief. Major target Nickalos Brassell was also in the group. The reactions were all pretty much the same.

"We were just kind of in shock," Bell said. "We talked, and everybody knows Ole Miss is the better team, but Jacksonville State made plays and took advantage. You credit them, but it's just one game. We all said we can't let that happen when we get there."

Even commitments not in attendance felt the brunt of the loss. Pascagoula, Miss., cornerback Senquez Golson stayed home Saturday and watched it unfold from his living room.

"I sat on the couch with my dad, and it felt like I had just lost," Golson said. "It was about as bad as any loss with me on the field. It got me, big time. I've learned the same things in high school. When you get up on them, you have to put them away.

"It made me want to suit up right now."

Several of the out-of-state commitments remain solid, as well. Kameron Wood had discussed coming for the opener, but due to a family obligation in Georgia, Wood decided to wait and attend the Ole Miss - Vanderbilt game Sept. 18 instead.

"I'm still going to be an Ole Miss Rebel," Wood said. "There are still 11 games to go, and people will realize it's only one game. Nothing is going to change for me."

Sanford (Seminole), Fla., outside linebacker Serderius Bryant, who is close with fellow Sunshine State Ole Miss commits Gerrod Holliman and Andrew Johnson, watched the end of the game but didn't give much of a second thought.

"I saw it, but it changes nothing," Bryant said. "Sometimes you don't finish, and it just shows Ole Miss you have to finish strong. Stuff happens sometimes."

While driving back home after the game, Bell called UM running backs coach Derrick Nix to check on one of his future coaches. The Rebels were attempting to analyze what went wrong, learn from it and turn attention to the next game at Tulane.

"I just told him to hang in there," Bell said. "He told me they would be ready for Tulane, and we just talked a little bit. Winning is what will make this go away."

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