Olive Branch was once a powerhouse football program within the state of Mississippi. Those times have changed. In the past three seasons, the Conquistadors have only made the playoffs once. Last season they went 0-12, but one player stood out anyway. His name is Fabien Lovett. As a sophomore and junior, the 6-foot-4, 283-pound defensive tackle, who ran a 5.1 40-yard dash at the Nike Regional in April, collected 166 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hurries and forced seven fumbles. It took a while for colleges to take notice, but now his name is out.
"There have been so many schools that have been by here this spring I can't even keep up," Lovett said. "I got some new offers from Central Florida, Purdue and Tulane. I'm starting to hear from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida and Florida State a lot. They just want to get me down there to one of their camps."
The schools who offered early continue to stick out.
"The coaches who I've built the best relationship with so far are coach (Freddie) Roach from Ole Miss, coach (Brian) Baker from Mississippi State and coach (Dan) Lanning from Memphis. I would put Central Florida up there with those three as well."
His last visit was to Ole Miss.
"It's so close to home, so it's easy to get there. I just like their school. I can see myself playing there, but I still want to take some visits and see who all offers before I commit."
What else stands out about the Rebels?
"Their program is based off the principles that I live by. They are deep-faith team that has a tight brotherhood. I just like the whole staff over there. They're real cool. They're calm. I just want to see how they react in games. I'll get a better idea in the fall."
Mississippi State has also been after the all-state product.
"They prepare you for graduation. It's not all just about football down there in Starkville. They would rather see you get your degree than play football. The NFL is just a bonus. The most important thing for them is getting your degree."
Memphis is also a school that is just down the road.
"They're built on family. I really like them because even if I don't go to school there they just want me to go somewhere that is the best fit for me. They want me to be successful after football."
Central Florida has been making a push as well.
"They really want to get me down there to check out their campus. They think I can be successful in their defense. They want to build their defense around me. They tell me that I'm the No. 1 playmaker on their board."
Future visits are on the docket before decision time.
"I'm going to camp at Ole Miss and MSU in early June. I'm going to try and make it down to UCF. I go to Memphis on July 11. Tennessee and Auburn are really pushing me hard to come down their camps as well. I want to visit all of the schools who are looking at me this summer because I want to commit before my season starts. I don't want that weighing on my mind during my senior season."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org