Weeks and months flew by, but Cedric Smith patiently waited.
Despite an impressive senior season for Prattville High School in Prattville, Ala., interest from prospective colleges was minimal. The two-star cornerback had no choice but to plug away, with hopes a major Division I offer would come sooner rather than later.
Two of his teammates, Sam Gibson (LSU) and Nick Perry (Alabama), were bound for the SEC. In October, Smith was committed to Arkansas State.
But as the calendar turned to the New Year, a recruiting process that had gone by far too slow began to pick up. In fact, just two weeks before National Signing Day, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder was given the chance he'd always wanted.
On a lazy Saturday in late January, the phone rang. When he answered, Ole Miss was on the other end, a committable offer in hand.
While somewhat surprising, he had gradually built a nice offer sheet after recording 50 tackles and four interceptions as a senior. Those interested included Kentucky, Illinois, UAB, Southern Miss and Memphis.
This offer, however, carried a little more weight.
"Ole Miss offered me today," he said at the time. "It was a great offer. It's an SEC team. You can't get any better. Right now, they're No. 1 on my list. I will take my official visit up there this weekend."
And he did.
In one of only two official visits, Smith took to Oxford on Jan. 22. The trip was apparently all he needed, as the sleeper prospect opted to sign with Ole Miss Wednesday on National Signing Day.
Smith joins a cornerback class featuring such names as Tony Grimes, Eric Mitchell and Cliff Coleman. With Ole Miss short at the position through the departures of seniors Marshay Green and Cassius Vaughn, the group is being looked to for depth and early playing time.
"I think Ole Miss is a great school," said Smith. "I feel like I have a great opportunity there. I could do a lot of good things for them. I think I can be successful."
Fifteen recruits are slated to come in this weekend for official visits. The list is still fluid…