SEC Stop

SEC Stop

Gabriel Campbell out of Yazoo City, Miss., dropped by Ole Miss last Sunday to give his girlfriend a good look at Oxford.

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"That's the first time I've been anywhere since I went to the Alabama spring game," Campbell said. "It's been a while since I've been anywhere. I wanted my girlfriend to see Ole Miss. She's going to go on a lot of visits with me. My sister and two of my cousins also went with me."

Campbell's girlfriend has Mississippi roots but lives in Virginia.

"She's originally from Mississippi but she lives in Virginia now. She came down to see my cousin graduate. She had never been to Ole Miss, and she has been hearing me talking about how nice it is up there. She attends Northern Virginia Community College but she is graduating next May. She wants to go to a university after that so we're both kind of scouting the situation out right now."

What did the two think of Ole Miss while on the trip?

"It was the same as the last time I was there. I love Ole Miss. It's just a beautiful campus. I really wanted for my girlfriend just to soak it all in. She thought it was the most amazing place she has ever seen. They're building so many new facilities there, and like I said, their campus is just amazing. You should have seen her face when we first got there. Her face lit up. That's why I went. I want her to come with me to these places. To see her face light up like it did at Ole Miss was really cool. I told her before we went how amazing it was there. Now she has experienced it first hand."

"I love Ole Miss. It's just a beautiful campus."

What did she specifically like about Ole Miss during the visit?

"She likes the Ole Miss coaches a lot. They're going to make sure their student-athletes get their degree. They took us on a tour of their FedEx Academic support building. and that really caught her eye. She likes it that I play sports. She wants me to do well in football, but her priority is for us to get our education and being at a safe place. I think she feels like Oxford has a great family feel for it on and around the campus. I think that really stood out to her. They also took us on a tour in their football stadium. That was the first time she had ever been a college stadium. She was really impressed with everything, really. So was I."

The Rebels have caught Campbell's eye for many of the same reasons.

"It's just family oriented around that town. It has a very comfortable and laid back feel to it up there. I also love the way they treat you at Ole Miss. I'm a big Christian myself. I just have a lot in common with their coaches up there. They're like my big brothers now. Even though they carry a deep faith they have the funniest group of coaches I've been around. I just really like the staff up there."

Which colleges are showing the 6' 5", 260-pound lineman the most love right now?

"It would have to be Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Alabama too and Oklahoma. Those four have been at me the hardest. They've all offered me. They all came to see me this spring. I talk to all of them weekly pretty much."

Oklahoma jumped into the picture last month with an offer.

"They offered me a scholarship last month. They keep telling me that they like how I play and like how long I am. I have a wingspan of someone that is 6' 11". They want big, long guys on the defensive line, and they think I fit in perfectly. They told me that as long as I came in and did what I was supposed to do and work hard, I will get a lot of playing time as a freshman, if not start."

What stands out about Alabama?

"That defense is amazing. They put the most guys in the NFL. You can't argue with that or their defense."

Mississippi State also has that family feel to it.

"It's just a big family oriented place like Ole Miss. A lot of the guys on that team are just like me. Just a big ol' country boy. They try and make you feel at home over there. Their defense is great as well. My boy coach (David) Turner tells me I can play at Mississippi State. I just love those guys over there as well."

Is there a timetable for a decision?

"It will probably be around the middle of my senior season or shortly after."

And when that time comes, what will be the number one factor in the decision?

"My faith is the most important thing to me. I don't know where I want to go right now. That's why I'm waiting until I commit. I don't want to commit somewhere and then decommit. I want to really get a look at everyone that is interested in me first. But you never know. It might just hit me one day. When I go with it that will be it."

Campbell is relatively new to the Mississippi high school football scene.

"I didn't play football my freshman and sophomore seasons. I've always been really involved with baseball. My freshman season I hurt my left ankle and I couldn't play. My sophomore year it just didn't feel right so I just concentrated on baseball. But I never could get football out of my mind so I started back playing last season. It felt great. That's all I think about now."

This offseason and upcoming season will be all about gaining some much-needed experience between the lines.

"I'm just trying to soak it all in. Get better at the mental aspect of the game. I want to read the offenses quicker. I'm learning about the offensive linemen's tendencies and tips to give me clues on what they're going to run. My head was kind of swimming last season but now it is slowing down. I'm really seeing things develop a lot quicker. I know where the plays are going before the snap. It's just a whole different game now. I can't wait for next season."

Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for and he can be reached at Recommended Stories