[Premium article] Though Shannon (MS) High School Red Raider quarterback, Ken Topps, has had his senior year of football come to an end at the hands of the Louisville (MS) Wildcats in the 4A North half semifinals, he has been busy nevertheless.

Ken, a pretty good basketball player, did not tell me how he was doing on the hardwood, but one gets the impression that he is enjoying it. He told me that he can remember the time when Shannon was known more as a basketball school rather than, as it is now, a football school. He told me that at any given time oldsters can be heard discussing the round ball exploits of the Ray Reed gang of yesteryear. But make no mistake, Ken is a football player who plays quarterback first and foremost and does it very well, thank you very much.

Ken has been so busy that he said that he has not been able to take any unofficial visits to campuses, but that schools under consideration are Memphis, Mississippi, Mississippi State, and Southern Mississippi. He said those schools will constitute his four official visits. Notice I said four, folks. That is exactly right, Ken will only take four visits. All the schools mentioned are recruiting him with equal effort he said. Memphis's coach Helton, Mississippi State's offensive coordinator Sparky Woods are two of the coaches that came to his mind when asked what coaches are recruiting him. He could not name the Southern Miss coach and he mentioned the entire staff at Mississippi as the coaches recruiting him for them.

In the way of official visits, Ken has set up visits with MSU on Jan 12th and Memphis on Jan. 18th. He has not scheduled visits with the other two schools when I spoke to him.

Ken plans to major in sports medicine and coaching at the university he chooses. Ken also mentioned one other aspect of the academic side that caused me to be very impressed with the young man's thinking. He said the, "professorial ranking by professor in his given field of study," will bear weight in his final decision. Sounds like the young man is definitely ahead of the game.

Well folks, that is all for now. Tune in later for the Ken Topps watch!

Charles Johnson is a recruiting correspondent for Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet.

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