Dion Gales is ready for Pearl River CC
"Time has gone by so fast," stated Dion Gales. "I can remember when Coach Woods (former Ole Miss coach) called me and told me that the NCAA said I was not qualified. I was like, are you sure. He said he was. I just told my aunt to turn around, and we headed back to (New) Orleans. I did not know what to do. I was pretty much in denial. I was in shock. Man, I was ready to make a name for myself in the SEC. You know, where the whole nation could see me play."
The 2003 New Orleans Defensive Player of the Year decided to sit out the '03 Fall semester with hopes of achieving his needed ACT score. Dion never made it so he enrolled at MS Gulf Coast CC in the Spring of 2004.
"It was tough having to come here (MS Gulf Coast CC). I thought I should be at Ole Miss. My heart was not into it."
When someone's heart is not into something, their production usually surfaces.
"I think I would have played much better (last season) if I would have had a better attitude."
But then the ole "light" went on, and Dion changed his attitude.
"Last Spring, I just decided I had to do what I had to do to get out of here and get to the SEC. I knew I was playing with a bad attitude, and my Aunt told me to grow up. That kind of hit me. Reality sat in that I better change my ways, or I was going to end up like a lot of my boys back home."
Hurricane Katrina devastated hundreds of thousands of New Orleans residents, which included Dion's family.
"I had to go home this summer to help out with the bills. I needed to work so I could help my family get their house back. I had to do what I had to do."
Dion sat out the first summer session but arrived back at Gulf Coast CC for the second summer session.
"It was all about getting my conditioning back and getting some classes out of the way. Now I am back to my same old self. I reported in about 290, but I have lost 10 pounds since."
Is 280 too big for the DE position?
"Oh, no sir, I am going to lose a little fat and put on some muscle before I get to college. Ole Miss wants me to show up at around 275. That is the perfect weight for me."
Speaking of Ole Miss; when was the last time Gales spoke to someone from Ole Miss?
"I talk to Coach Frank (Wilson) about every week. I talked to him on Tuesday. We sat up my official visit. I am going for the Wake Forest game."
What else was discussed between the two parties.
"He just told me to be ready to make an impact this Spring. They need some help on the DL, and they think I will give them a big boost there."
Are anymore coaches calling Dion?
"I get a lot of calls, but mostly from Ole Miss, Florida, MSU, and USM."
What is their message to Dion?
"They just tell me they want to get me up there for a visit."
Will Dion take anymore visits?
What is Dion looking for on the next level.
"Who ever gives me the best chance to get drafted the highest is where I want to be. That's getting paid. When I get drafted, my mouth will be taken of. If someone has a better program to get me to the NFL quicker than Ole Miss, then I will listen. I am just trying to get my life goal, which is to be in the NFL."
Has Dion inform Ole Miss of this?
"I talk to Coach Frank (Wilson) all the time. He knows what is up. He knows I am still committed, but at the same time, it is a verbal commitment. I did not sign any papers. But yea, I am still committed to Ole Miss, and that is probably where I will end up. But I am never going to totally slam the door on anyone until I know their situation is not as good as Ole Miss."
Has Dion received any new offers?
"Florida offered me before the start of the season. They text me like every day."
For now, Dion is focused at the task at hand, which is facing Pearl River CC in a showdown between the #1 and #3 juco teams in the country.
"We just need to rush the QB. That is all we are looking forward to. We are ready for this game. This is like the Super Bowl for both teams. We got them once last year and they got us once. This is going to settle things."
Dion had to sit out the first game of the season this year due to a scuffle in last year's bowl game, which brought an automatic one game suspension.
"That was tough sitting there and not being able to play. Like I said though, this year is a whole new season and a new attitude for me. I paid for my crime, and I came out last Friday and made 10 tackles. I want to be in the double digits every game in tackles. My sacks will come when we play passing teams, like tonight."
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