LB Jett Johnson out of Tupelo trying to separate the fan from his recruitment

Jett Johnson out of Tupelo grew up like so many families in the state of Mississippi. One side is all Mississippi State while the other is pro Ole Miss. Will that play a role in his decision?

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"Everybody knows my mom and her side of the family are big Ole Miss fans, and my dad is a big MSU fan." Johnson said. "They have both done a great job with me of not having a biased opinion. It's such a blessing to have two understanding parents. Don't get me wrong, they would both love for me to go to their school (laugh), but they are not pushing me. I'm actually going to take my dad to an Ole Miss practice, and my mother to a MSU practice coming up in the next couple weeks. I always take my mom to Ole Miss and my dad to Mississippi State, but I want them to get an inside view of what the other school is like. Both of their staffs are going to let us sit in their linebacker meetings before the practices start. That's going to be really cool."

The All-State performer is trying to separate the fan from his recruitment, but he did grow up rooting for the Maroon and White.

"My dad has always had season tickets there so that's where we have always gone. I grew up rooting for Mississippi State in the Egg Bowls, but this is a whole different deal now. It's about finding the best fit for me. I'm not letting that come into play at all."


The 6-foot-3, 230-pound middle linebacker brought his mother and brother with him over to Oxford Sunday.

"I enjoyed every moment of it, to be honest. Coach (Bradley Dale) Peveto is just a really cool guy. I have been talking to him a lot on the phone. It was good to finally put a face with his voice. Coach Freeze came over and sat down with me and my family at the baseball game. That was pretty special. I love coach Freeze. He's just so down to earth. We went to his office after the game and talked football. Coach Peveto took us on a tour after we left coach Freeze's office. He showed us all around. I just really like the coaches there at Ole Miss. They are family oriented team. They told me that I'm one of their top prospects in Mississippi and a priority for their them. That's really cool to hear. They always talk about me becoming a part of their family."

The Rebels struggled at linebacker last season, but that doesn't necessarily mean there are openings, according to Johnson.

"I haven't looked into that too much, but they signed like six linebackers in this past class and three stud middle linebackers. I'm just trying to let it sink in. I'll take a harder look at that as the season goes, and I get a better feel for it."

Ole Miss self imposed a bowl ban recently. That adversity has caught his eye in a positive way.

"I think the thing I like most about Ole Miss is how they are the handling the adversity they are going through. Their coaches never directly talked about the NCAA issue with us while we were over there, but they kept talking about how they are a family and will remain strong. Anybody can say it, but they are doing it. Their players and coaches aren't letting that become a factor with their team. That has really caught my eye. I think that's what sticks out to me about Ole Miss the most so far."

Mississippi State has their positives as well.

"I like their history at linebacker. They have had some stud linebackers. Of course Ole Miss has too with P (Patrick) Willie and those guys, but State has had several recently as well. Richie Brown, (Benardrick) McKinney, Leo Lewis and those guys."

Brown is currently holding seven scholarship offers. They are Louisville, South Alabama, MTSU, Troy, Memphis, MSU and Ole Miss. They are all standing on equal footing.

"Every school that has offered me is under consideration. All seven of them saw something in me early. That means a lot to me and my family. I'll head over to South Alabama on April 1st to watch them play. I was actually down there last season when they beat MSU. I wasn't too happy about it at the time, but like I said, now it's a different thing."

Decision time will most likely come after his senior season is played out.

"I'm still letting everything sink in. I'm being patient so I'll make the right decision. I'm going to take it slow. I don't plan to make a decision until after my senior season is over."

Jett had a 119 tackles and a couple picks while helping Tupelo to a 12-1 record as a junior.

"I feel like I have pretty good size, instincts, and smarts at my position. (Former Ole Miss quarterback) John Darnell told me at an early age to keep playing because I had the instincts and smarts to go a long ways playing football. I just have a love for the game and a will to win. That has allowed me to be successful so far."


Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com




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