The Rebels signed three of his teammates last year. Will this have a big influence in Pegues' decision? Only time will tell. What we do know right now is that Derek attended Ole Miss' Junior Day last Saturday. We called to see how his visit went.
The following information was revealed during our interview with Mr. Pegues:
What is your current height, weight, and forty time? "I am 6' 0", 187, and the fastest 40 time I have run is a 4.37. But I run a 4.4 consistently."
Which position are you being recruited to play on the next level? "Cornerback."
What do you consider your strengths to be? "My speed and my knowledge of the game."
What are you trying to work on to prepare yourself for the collegiate level? "Just my coverage skills and my quick feet."
Give us the run down of the positions you have played since you started varsity ball for South Panola. "Well, in 9th grade, I played QB/WR/a little RB/ and some cornerback. I mostly played RB and CB that year. In 10th grade, I played QB/CB/KR/PR. I mostly played cornerback that year. Last year, I played quarterback for the most part. I did play a little corner, but not too often."
What were your stats as a junior? "I had 2, 700 yards of offense and 44 TD's. I think it was like 13 (TD's) passing and 31 (TD's) rushing. I had like 1, 560 rushing and 1, 100 passing yards."
Which awards were your given for your play on the field? "I was Player of the Week 8 times. I made 1st Team All-State (Clarion Ledger) as a Utility Player. I was our Region's MVP, and I made All-South East by the Orlando Sentinal."
Tell us about South Panola's season last year. "We were a good team. We all got along great and it carried over to the field. We had a lot of depth and talent at every position. That did not hurt (laugh)."
What are your expectations for next season? "Hopefully we can get back to the state (championship game). We just have to work hard over the summer and shore up some positions. Me personally, I want to have a great season, play a little more corner, and get a lot of (recruiting) looks."
What is going on with Marcus Griffin, your running back? "Oh, he is going to N' West CC next year to
get his grades straight, then he says he is going to Ole Miss."
Will he play football for the Rangers next year? "He says he is."
You said you wanted to play some more defense next year. Have you discussed this with your coach? "Well, yes sir. He said he was going to play me both ways next year. If I am going to play corner in college, I need some more reps there. I have played some corner in the past though, like last year's championship game and 10th grade. I acatually played the whole championship game at corner last year."
When does Spring practice start? "I think it is in the last week of April."
Is South Panola playing in a jamboree this spring? "Yes sir, in Clinton. We are playing Provine and and Clinton."
When is it being held? "I think it is the 2nd or 3rd weekend in May."
Which schools are currently
writing you the most? "Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Miami,
Notre Dame, and Michigan. I would say those schools send me the most stuff."
Have you received any early scholarship offers? "Yea, I got an offer from Ole Miss."
When did they offer you? "I want to say it was in either October or November. Somewhere around then."
Which schools have caught your eye up to this point? "Mostly Tennessee, LSU, and Miami."
Where does Ole Miss fit in the picture? "They are up there with them, most likely. But, I really would like to get out of state. I will consider Ole Miss, but I would like to go out of state."
Are you close with the teammates that signed with Ole Miss? "I am very close with them. We are like best friends."
Will that weigh in on your decision making process? "Yea, they will weigh a major part in my decision. I am thinking about it very seriously."
Have you had a chance to take any unofficial visits this past year? "Yea, I went to Ole Miss' recruit day. Auburn wants me to come to a scrimmage of theirs on March 6th or March 13th."
Did you attend any football games this past fall? "Oh yea, I went to a lot of the Ole Miss games. I pretty much went to all of them."
What did you do during junior day at Ole Miss? "We visited with some of the top players from Mississippi. We talked with our area recruiter (Matt Luke), and then we left with our position coach (Jay Hopson). We watched some film and things like that. They showed us around campus, and we visited their weight room. We met with Coach Cutcliffe after that. He talked to us about his program and their new indoor facility. We watched their highlight video before we left. That was straight."
In general, how did the trip go? "It went very well, really well. Ole Miss is straight."
Did you learn anything new about Ole Miss during your trip? "Yea, the kind of coverage they run. It is very similar to what we run, so I will not have to learn much."
Did anyone accompany you on your trip? "Just my coach and my wide receiver (Travis Sanford)."
Will you attend anymore junior days this spring? "Yea, I will most likely go to Auburn's. If anyone else wants me to come, I will probably go check them out."
What will be the main factors in your decision? "I am looking for the one who can provide me the best education that can also stay on the top national level. Also, you know, how many players they send to the pros, and their depth chart. That will probably the biggest factor with me. I want to play early. I do not like sitting on the sideline."
Derek carries a 2.9 Core GPA, and he scored an 18 on the ACT test as a sophomore.