NJCAA 1st Team All-American commits to OM

Emmanuel Stephens (DE, Blinn College, TX) - The Houston native did not surprise many when he committed to one of his home state universities, Texas Tech, before he left off on his official visit to Ole Miss. But today's news might surprise some.

"I went ahead and committed to Ole Miss on my visit," stated the 6' 3", 220 pound rush end who was one of the two defensive ends that was named 1st Team All-American by NJCAA, Emmanuel Stephens.

Why Ole Miss over Texas Tech?

"After meeting with their new defensive coordinator, Coach (Tyrone) Nix, and seeing the kind of defensive coaches I will have. I just think Coach (Tracey) Rocker will benefit me at defense end and help me progress more at my position. I picked them because of their defensive staff."

Has Stephens informed the Tech staff about his decision to decommit and commit to Ole Miss?

"Not yet, I have not made my call yet. It should be pretty interesting (laugh)."

What does he expect the Texas Tech staff to say back?

"They are probably going to be like why (laugh)? They came over last week the night before I went on my visit to Ole Miss and stayed over here until midnight. They brought their head coach, defensive coordinator, defensive line coach, all of them. I am sure they will just want to know why."

And what will Stephens reply back?

"I will just say that it is a better fit for me, my wife, and my baby. Personally, I will tell them that Ole Miss' staff is a better fit for me. And as far as my wife, they are going to help her find a job. And my baby, they provide quality day care. They also have a good program in what I want to go into, X-Ray Tech. It is just the best fit for me and my family."

And what about the Texas A&M scheduled official visit for this weekend?

"I did not make it. Coaches Nutt and Vaughn (Ole Miss) are going to be by here at 2:30 today."

What new did Emmanuel learn about Ole Miss during his trip?

"I got to see their practice fields, football stadium, and indoor complex. I had already heard they had some of the top facilities in the country from the staff over here. They were right. I did not know that they had won that many championships over there though. That was neat. And I also saw the Walk of Champions and watched some highlights of them coming out of the tunnel. They rub on Chucky's (Mullins) head. That was cool."

Scheme wise, how will Stephens be used at Ole Miss?

"I met with Coach Nix the last night I was there, and we watched some film on how they plan to use me. I will mostly be coming off of the edge, but they are going to put me back at SAM and drop me into coverages sometimes. I will be standing up sometimes too. I am almost like a hybrid end. It is some pretty exciting stuff. They are going to put me in position to be their playmaker on defense."

Emmanuel was hosted by another All-American defensive end, Greg Hardy, for the weekend.

"Greg was really laid back and cool. We hung out the whole time. The first night we played monopoly and haylo. The next night we just went bowling and went back to his house and played some video games. To have the opportunity to play on the other side from Greg is one I could not pass up on. We have the chance to be the best duo in the country. Coach Nutt thinks I will be the missing piece to get them to a bowl game next year. I just can not wait to get the season started. He can't either."

Stephens has already graduated from Blinn CC and is expected to sign on Wednesday with Ole Miss.

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