'Can't look back now'

Ole Miss freshman cornerback Senquez Golson rejoined the team Friday and participated in practice, four days after he turned down a multiyear contract offer from the Boson Red Sox.

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Golson spent the week in Pascagoula, his hometown, following the decision. The Red Sox drafted Golson with their eighth-round pick of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft in June. Monday was the deadline for MLB teams to sign draft picks.

Golson said negotiations took place in Fenway Park and lasted for most of the day. However, those discussions intensified between 5 p.m. and midnight EST, Golson admitting he came close to trading a football jersey for a Red Sox uniform.

"It's not a wrong decision," he said. "A lot of people look at the money. I wasn't looking at that part of it. Just making sure how I want to start my years after high school, I guess you could say. It was close. Super close, you know?"

Golson was offered well north of $1 million to sign, according to sources familiar with the talks. Unsure of which path to take, football or baseball, Golson decided to leave his options open. He will play both sports at Ole Miss.

Senquez Golson
Bruce Newman

"The thing is, I love football and I love baseball. I love both of them with a passion," he said. "But I don't know exactly what I want to do with my life after college, if it's going to the NFL or the MLB.

"I figured coming to school, doing three years of both should help me decide what I really want to do."

Golson took a physical and flew to Boston Monday morning. By that point, the chances of Golson returning to Ole Miss appeared minimal at best.

However, Golson said the soon-to-come-decision was weighing heavily on his mind.

"I was still thinking about it," he said. "I didn't have a set mind on it, just keeping my options open. I don't know what I want to do as far as football or baseball, so I figured I'd just come to school, keep my options open for three years."

Ole Miss held another full-pad practice Friday afternoon. Golson took part in all drills and was rotated in when the team began scrimmage work later in the day. Golson is, at worst, the fourth cornerback, behind only starters Charles Sawyer and Marcus Temple and key reserve Wesley Pendleton.

"Man, it's just outstanding," to have Golson back, head coach Houston Nutt said. "I thought he had an outstanding day today. Looks good. That just gives us some really needed extra depth. Shoot, seemed like he picked right up where he left off."

"I'm glad to be back," Golson said. "Feel kind of slow, I guess, ‘cause I ain't been running the past couple of days. But I'm happy to be back out here."

Golson was rated the No. 25 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com, after tallying three interceptions and five touchdowns as a senior for Pascagoula High School. As an outfielder, he hit .325 with three home runs, 23 RBI and 16 steals.

"Can't look back now," Golson said. "This was probably the biggest decision of the year. Now that it's gone, I feel like I can kind of relax a little bit. Now I can concentrate on one thing rather than going back to my dorm and thinking about what I want to do."

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