Derrick Herman is just happy to be a Rebel

The Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year has been one of Ole Miss biggest recruiters. To learn more about Derrick Herman, read below.

The Cleveland product participated in the MS/AL All-Star game and came away with a drive stopping interception when it looked like Alabama was about to gain momentum in the game.

"It was a great experience," added the always colorful Derrick Herman. "I learned a lot from the players and coaches. I am just glad to have been a part of the team that stopped Bama's streak. We had lost 7 of the last 9 games, so there was a lot of pressure on us to bring the trophy back home. Everybody was focused on getting the win, every day and every night."

What did Derrick learn about himself from the event?

"That I can not go out there with nerves. They are just big names, reputation wise, but it does not mean anything. They got a name on the back of their jersey just like you do. Nobody was over me."

A couple of the Mississippi players helped Herman's game out a lot.

"DeAndre Brown is the best receiver I have ever gone up against. And I learned a lot from Alonzo Lawrence. He taught me a lot. We are on the same level of ball, but he showed me how to stick in there and be confident."

Herman roomed with a player from Mississippi that lives just down the road from him.

"I really did not know Charles Mitchell until I got down there. We were the main two to keep the defense hyped up at practice. We talked about going out there and playing with emotion and treating every practice like it was game day. I think we kept our defense's spirits up."

Derrick has been keeping up with many of his teammates since they left Mobile.

"I am real close with Willie Packer and Marlon Walls now. We talk every day. And Charles (Mitchell) is from Clarksdale. A lot of my folks live down the road from him. I see him all of the time now. I still keep in touch with all of the South Panola boys too. As a matter of fact, I just spoke with Quinn (Sanford) last night. We are trying to get everybody to come with us to Ole Miss. We all saw how well we played together at the game, and we are real comfortable around each other. We want to win some championships together. I am really working on Alonzo (Lawrence), Charles (Mitchell) and (DeAndre) Brown. I think in the end, they are going to come through. They know if all of us stick together, we are going to win some championships."

What is Derrick's impression of the new Ole Miss staff?

"I couldn't be anymore happier than I am with those guys. I have gotten real close with Coach Vaughn. We talk all of the time. Coach Nutt called a couple of nights ago with their whole staff on the line. Everybody was getting real hyped up. I was ready to get after it when I hung up. You can tell they come from a championship background. I just can't wait to get over there in June and get started. They think I have a good chance to come in there and compete for a starting spot next year so I am going to show up in the best shape in my life. I am real hungry to get that job."

Despite Herman's commitment, a new school has come calling.

"USM offered me a few days ago. They want me to come down there on the 25th (of January). The only visit I have set up for sure so far is Ole Miss on January 18th, although I might come a week earlier and come this weekend. I want to see that basketball game Saturday. I am a big hoop's fan."

Make no bones about it; this talented youngster was influenced by one person in his life.

"My mother is a very big influence on me. My mom is still in college. She is teaching and taking classes at the same time. She was a police officer, but she wants to get a professional job, so she is working on her Masters and teaching at the same time. If she can do both at one time, I can too. She keeps me motivated. Mom is graduating in May with her Masters in Speech Pathology. That's my heart right there. I couldn't be anymore proud. If it were not for my mom, there is no telling where I would be."

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