"I've received calls from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Houston, Louisville, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Southern Miss during May," said Derek.
He's even made several calls himself at the request of the schools via phone calls to his high school coach and text messages directly to him. In fact, one call resulted in his latest scholarship offer.
"I called (Notre Dame) and talked to a couple of their (assistant) coaches. Then, I talked to (head) Coach (Charlie) Weis," said Derek. "He offered me. I got it in the mail a couple of days ago. I knew they were recruiting me, but that they wanted me that bad is surprising."
Notre Dame is just one of eleven schools that have extended scholarship offers.
"The schools that have offered are Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Houston, Louisville, Southern Miss, Alcorn State, Arkansas State, Miami, Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame," reported Derek.
He has plans to visit several schools this summer in the hopes of becoming more familiar with them, especially two.
"Right now, I plan on going to camps at LSU, Florida and Mississippi State. I'm not sure if I will be attending any others. I might," he said. "I chose LSU and Florida so that I could get more familiar with their schools."
Not surprisedly, all three are on his list of favorites.
"My top seven are Mississippi State, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, LSU and Louisville. I also like Michigan," noted Derek.
He talked about each of the schools.
Mississippi State - "They are really close to home for me and I do have my brother (Dezmond) playing for them. I am already familiar with their university, so that is a big plus for them."
Florida - "They are a big powerhouse in the SEC and are really big on tradition. They are always a great school. You know if you go play for them you will probably become very successful."
Miami - "They are a big powerhouse in the ACC. They are always playing for the ACC championship every couple of years."
Notre Dame - "It is probably one of the best schools in the country. To me, they will probably be playing for a national championship in a couple of years."
Ole Miss - "Ole Miss is very rich in tradition. And they are very family-based and have a lot of good coaches, a lot of nice coaches. They are going to be very good soon."
LSU - "LSU is one of the best schools that you can go to in the SEC. They are very good in most of their sports, especially football. If someone goes there, they are going to probably wind up with a good degree and might even become a professional football player."
Louisville - "They are one of the best schools in the Big East. And they are always good offensively. They seem to always have someone come out of their school that is very good in the NFL."
Michigan - "Michigan has always been a good football school. They've had plenty of national championships. And they have some of the best rivalries. That is a big plus. And they play in one of the best stadiums."
Although he's not quite ready to rule anybody out, he realizes that narrowing his list down to a manageable number is not too far down the road.
"That's something that I'm going to have to talk to my parents about. I probably know they want me to narrow it down sometime around the end of the summer," said the 6-6, 300-pounder.
Which schools will make his list once he begins narrowing it down? Check back with Scout.com to find out.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.