ASA defensive line coach, Gilbert Pena, had no idea what to expect when one his players brought his friend over to come try out for his team. Coach Pena is glad he did.
"Rashad has been a great player for me the last two years," coach Pena said. "He came in last year as a walk on because his friend played for me. Rashad was a tight end in college. He has great feet and took to coaching pretty good. Brandon came in as a freshman and did some good things for us and just exploded this season after getting use to playing on the defensive line."
Pena has seen his sophomore lineman blossom before his very own eyes.
"I didn't know how high his ceiling would go when he first got here. I played in the SEC and played in the NFL. I know what it takes. But we got in a new staff this season and he just took off. He stands 6' 3 to 6' 4" and is really strong. He can run and change directions. He takes to coaching well. He comes from a family that has struggled, and he has taken it upon himself to better himself."
Pena's defensive line coach in college, Chris Kiffin, called to let him know Rashad had an offer.
"Coach Kiffin started watching his film throughout the season and liked him. He offered him a couple weeks back. I have an idea of what coach Kiffin wants in a defensive lineman. He wants a quick twitched guy that can bend and move his feet. Coach Kiffin said he's looking for a junior college guy to come in and play right away. Rashad can play the three and five technique, tackle or (nose) guard. He's really versatile and coach Kiffin likes that."
Things started heating up between Rashad and Ole Miss as far back as the spring.
"I first started talking to coach Kiffin at the end of my freshman season," Brandon said. "We stayed in contact every since. He offered me a couple weeks back, and I'm going in for my (official) visit on December 10th."
What does the New Yorker know about Ole Miss?
"I just know what coach Pena tells me. He said it's a great place to be. I know that I like their coaches. We have a good relationship. They understand me and where I come from."
Kiffin told Brandon what he liked about him as well.
"He likes the way I use my hands. Very violent. He likes the pad level I play with. He told me I'm a playmaker. I'm a guy he would love to coach."
Anymore visits set?
"I'm going to Missouri on Thanksgiving weekend. Ole Miss and Missouri are the only visits I have set up so far."
Decision time is less than a month away.
"I'm just going to the place I fit in the best. I don't want to feel out of place. I want it to feel like home."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at email@example.com