Breeland Speaks is headed to Oxford to begin his college career with the Ole Miss Rebels, but the former four-star recruit out of Callaway high school in Jackson, Miss. was one phone call away from dropping his commitment and heading to SEC west rival LSU, according to Courtney Cronin of the Clarion-Ledger.
“I was pretty close to going to LSU,” Speaks said. “Very close, very, very close. But, one thing led to another, one phone call was missed and now I’m an Ole Miss Rebel.”
Speaks committed to the in-state school that also will have two of his high school teammates, including No. 1 guard prospect Rod Taylor and a potential third in Ronald Walker who committed to Ole Miss but will play on the junior college level this year, on Oct. 21. But after taking an official to LSU on Jan. 17, Speaks had to weight the offer from his dream school who offered him late in the process.
The 6-4, 305-pound defensive lineman called Tigers’ head coach Les Miles and tried to get in contact with the coaches, but after the call went unanswered, Speaks remained solid in his commitment to Hugh Freeze and the Rebels.
LSU’s loss is Ole Miss’ gain as the versatile defensive lineman has bulked up 35 pounds from his playing weight as a senior when he played some linebacker, but will be counted on playing at end and tackle on the Rebel front four.
“I think I’ll get to play, but this summer and fall camp will determine where I sit,” he said. “That’s pretty much my M.O. going in. Even though I’m playing a three-tech defensive tackle, I still have the capability to play end. I’m pretty much using the same skills at both positions, keeping something new and something old in order to keep my options open.”
And if Speaks is able to crack the rotation and get some playing time at defensive tackle or at end on running downs, Speaks is setting high goals for himself.
“If I do get a chance to play, I hope to be a Freshman All-American and an Academic All-American,” Speaks said. “Those are the two goals I’ve set for myself and we’ll just have to see how things work out.”
Don’t feel too bad for LSU who finished with the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation and added a pair of defensive tackles on national signing day, but it is interesting to see just how close Speaks was to heading west to Baton Rogue rather than making the drive north to Oxford where he’ll call home for the next few years.