Rebels welcome in 1st Team Juco All-American

Emmanuel Stephens (DE, Blinn College, TX) - The NJCAA 1st Team All-American made a "soft" verbal commitment to Texas Tech on Sunday but will arrive in Oxford (MS) today with his wife and baby boy.

"Coach Leach came by my house right after we got off of the phone," added Emmanuel Stephens. "I committed, but it was just a verbal. I am still going to Ole Miss Tuesday through Thursday and then I am driving to Texas A&M on Friday and spending the weekend over there."

Why drive?

"Because I wanted my family to be able to check out both places. The NCAA does not allow you to bring any family members with you if you fly."

Stephens has already taken official visits to Texas Tech, Washington State and Oklahoma State and was actually scheduled to visit California this past weekend.

"I canceled the Cal visit so I could go to Ole Miss. I had to make a decision between Cal, Ole Miss, and Kansas State, so I went with Ole Miss. You can only take five."

Which schools has Stephens narrowed it down to?

"The ones I have narrowed it down to are Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss because Cal come in late so I turned them down."

What stands out with Texas Tech?

"They have some great coaches. They are real good people. I met Coach McNeal, and he is a good person. He is kind of like an Uncle type. They have a nice school and some pretty nice facilities."

And A&M?

"They have real nice facilities and my high school coach, Van Malone, coached me when I was a cornerback my freshman year. He was retained at A&M."


"Yea (laugh). I was a 5' 9", 172 pound corner my freshman year. Then I grew into a 6' 1", 190 pound defensive end my senior year. Kind of small, I know (laugh). But then I hit another growth spurt over here (Blinn CC) and now I am 6' 3", 220."

How did Ole Miss get into the picture?

"They recruited me when their staff was at Arkansas. They were actually the first school to offer me. I talk to Coaches Nutt and Vaughn all of the time. Me and Coach Vaughn are really close. Actually, the old staff at Ole Miss offered me too. When Nutt was hired, I was the first person he called. It is kind of funny, four of the schools who offered me (Washington State, A&M, Ole Miss, and Arkansas), their staffs all got fired."

What will Emmanuel look for while he is on his visit to Ole Miss and Texas A&M?

"I want to make sure they are going to take care of me, my wife, and my baby. I have to look after my family first and make the choice that best fits my family. My wife quit working when we had our child, so she is free to move. That is not going to be a problem. When Lavar turns one, she will go back to work."

Will Stephens stick with Texas Tech or switch to Ole Miss or Texas A&M? Stay here at to find out the latest.

Stephens will sign his letter of intent on December 19th and will have 3 to play 2 on the next level.

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