June 1, 2010

Brassell looking to jump in Rivals100

The initial Rivals100 for the 2011 signing class was released Tuesday afternoon.

Batesville (South Panola) athlete Nickalos Brassell was the only Mississippian on the list, entering the summer as the No. 76 prospect in the country.

Brassell said Tuesday that while he's honored to be included, he's anything but satisfied.

"It feels good," Brassell said. "I work hard and it's good to have that recognized. But I'm fixing to work harder to try to to get to the top. I'm trying to be No. 1.

"It kind of does feel hard to believe, but we've got coaches who put us in position to be successful and we work constantly. Batesville is a small town but we work hard down here."

Brassell, a 6-foot-2, 177-pounder with offers from all over the country, caught 62 passes for 1,272 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, adding 89 tackles and a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns on defense. He's developed a reputation among high school coaches as a receiver with good hands, speed to break a long run and a precise route-runner who comes out of breaks quick. Defensively, he's known for his man coverage in the open field and his physical cover skills at the line of scrimmage.

Nine athletes and five wide receivers are ranked higher than Brassell in the initial Rivals100, compared to just three cornerbacks.

"If he did play corner, you're talking about a guy who's 6-2. You've got these 5-10 and 5-11 guys and all of a sudden you find a 6-2 corner with his ability, man, it's a different market," South Panola coach Lance Pogue said last month. "He's a great offensive player, too. I think whoever gets him is getting a guy who can play either or, which is very, very rare with that kind of ability."

Brassell, who in the past has said he prefers to play offense, said Tuesday that he no longer has a preference.

"It just doesn't matter," Brassell said. "I like both sides and I'm open to playing any position that my team needs me to play."

Brassell has offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Tennessee and USC, among others. However, two schools seem to be emerging as front-runners, and he'll visit them both this weekend when he camps at Ole Miss Saturday and then Alabama on Sunday.

"I'm still open," said Brassell, who has already accepted an invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio in early January.

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