February 23, 2010

Golson, a two-sport star, fielding offers

Several schools are beginning to battle for Senquez Golson's signature. But the winner will then, likely, have to win him over one more time .

The Pascagoula, Miss., cornerback has picked up offers from Ole Miss and Mississippi State, but his talents on the gridiron are only half the story. To secure Golson's letter of intent, a compromise must be agreed upon.

The fall will be all about football for Golson in college, but he's planning to trade in his shoulder pads for a glove come spring. The 6-foot, 180-pounder is one of Mississippi's best baseball players and will play both sports at the next level.

"I'm trying to play both," Golson said. "I'll sign a football scholarship and then play baseball. When I talk to coaches, my desire to play football and baseball is the first thing I tell them. It's not really up for debate."

And that's because Golson's future is likely on the diamond. He'll sign with a football program next February, but the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft could steal Golson away from the college of his choice.

Early word has professional baseball franchises targeting the five-tool outfielder between the fourth and 12th rounds of the draft. In this past year's draft, the high school players slotted and picked in the fourth round, normally, signed contracts worth $200,000-$250,000 before taxes, although there were a few exceptions. The 12th round yields offers for less than $100,000, barring unique circumstances.

"People have been bringing the draft to my attention, but it's a long ways away," Golson said. "I'll have to think about it if the time comes. It just depends on the money on the table, but that's not my focus."

The two Southeastern Conference in-state schools are the only ones to hand offers to Golson, but other teams are staying in contact and showing interest, including LSU, Michigan, Illinois and Stanford.

The Bulldogs are in front right now due to familiarity. Golson's brother attends MSU, and it's the only campus he has been around to this point. Golson will attend a junior day at Southern Miss this weekend and plans to trip to Ole Miss during his spring break and also in early May.

"I like (MSU head) coach (Dan) Mullen a lot," Golson said. "I've had a good time at State, and I'm familiar with it, but I'm not rushing. I want to see Ole Miss and give it some time.

"My brother going to State won't be a factor because he'll graduate before I get there."

Last season for Pascagoula, Golson had 45 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass break-ups and two forced fumbles.

"I never thought it would be like this," Golson said about his recruitment. "I'm blown away and happy."

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