Recruiting Diary 2012: Ashton Shumpert, Aug. 31: New offers in for 4-star Shumpert

Ashton Shumpert sat in the coaches office at the Itawamba field house Thursday afternoon with a handful of Wheat Thins in his right hand and two more offers in his left.

Shumpert has yet to play a game this season but the 4-star recruit’s offer sheet continues to climb.

Purdue and Alcorn State joined a list this week that now stands at 10.

Ole Miss has made contact this week and Shumpert said he may attend the Jackson St.-Mississippi State season opener Saturday.

Shumpert now lists Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Southern Miss and Alabama and Memphis as his suitors.

“Everybody’s about to start. I’ll take a visit to some of the games.,” Shumpert said.

He wants to visit, but he wants to play as well. A lingering illness has kept him out of the first three weeks of his senior season.

He had two television plans Thursday, watching the Crosstown Classic between Lafayette and Oxford on Fox Sports South and seeing how one of the teams offering him does in the year’s Southeastern Conference opener.

Vanderbilt lost but didn’t disappoint, giving No. 9 South Carolina a run in a 17-13 loss.

Shumpert didn’t venture to pick a winner in the Crosstown Classic but did say he heard Oxford was better than some thought – Oxford won 19-0 to end Lafayette’s 34-game win streak.

Itawamba is 2-0 going into Friday’s game against Nettleton.

Recruiting Diary 2012: Ashton Shumpert, Aug. 27

Ole Miss and Mississippi State are staying hot on the trail of Itawamba AHS 4-star athlete Ashton Shumpert.

Shumpert though is focused on something more immediate. The senior had to sit out Itawamba’s wild comeback win at New Albany Friday and has yet to play this season while he is recovering from the effects of mono. This week’s status vs. Nettleton is unclear.

He recently made third trips to Mississippi State and Ole Miss, taking his dad to see the Starkville campus.

“That was mostly all that trip was about, go back down there, catch up with the coaches and let my dad see it,” Shumpert said.

Shumpert said he got the feel of both Ole Miss and Mississippi State on his third visit to each but says he always tries to find something new.

Now in his second straight season starting on the sidelines, Shumpert’s previous successes and offers – which he isn’t narrowing yet – become somewhat of a comfort.

“It was real important, now since I haven’t been able to play,” Shumpert said.”It’s very hard not being able to help the team win, but like coach told me, I can be the biggest cheerleader.”

His offer sheet includes Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Alabama and Georgia.

Recruiting Diary 2012: Ashton Shumpert

The NeMissPreps Recruiting Diaries started in 2011 as we followed the high-profile recruiting of Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward, who chose to sign with Ole Miss in January. This season’s diary focuses on Itawamba AHS senior ATH/S Ashton Shumpert.

Aug. 16, 2012

FULTON – Fulton, Miss. is glad to have Ashton Shumpert back on its football field. Next season, one college team will feel the same.

The 4-star Itawamba AHS Indian is ranked the state’s fourth-best prospect at ATH, the first ATH listed, and 26th-ranked ATH prospect in the nation by ESPN. Scout ranks him the country’s 12th best safety. He lists Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt as suitors.

A Georgia visit may be the next stop on his recruiting trail. He’s been to camps at Ole Miss, MSU, Oklahoma State and Vandy and felt good about a recent one-day camp at Mississippi State.

“The day went well and that was probably one of my best camps,” he said from the coach’s office at the IAHS facility last week.

Shumpert isn’t narrowing a list yet and is openly enjoying the recruiting process, taking it all in and not placing a timetable on his decision.

Vandy may look like and outsider on paper but Shumpert says the Commodores are keeping close contact.

“They’re a great school,” he said. “I’ve talked to a few of the coaches. Coach (James) Franklin, he’s a real good coach. I can tell by the way he carries himself.”

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder spent his freshman season at Itawamba, but the last two at Tupelo. He transferred back home for his senior season with the Class 4A Indians.

He’ll play both sides of the football for the Indians but played offense only last season. He says he’ll play wherever he’s needed at the next level.

“(They’re recruiting me at) running back because I didn’t play any DB in Tupelo,” he said. “If the college wants me to, I don’t mind.”

He says he doesn’t have a large list of requirements for his services. Education, though, is one of them. The senior wants to major in Biology and whenever he hangs up his cleats, wants to be an orthodontist.

“All of them I’ve gone to, they have what I want to major in,” he said. “The main thing I’m looking at this season is how the team does this year.”

Coaches, his basketball coaches included, have lauded his leadership abilities. Shumpert himself credits the seniors he’s seen come and go.

“I’ve seen a whole lot of seniors and how they lead,” he said. “I know different ways to lead different people. You can’t lead all of them the same way.”

Shumpert was relegated to the sidelines on opening Friday night last week, out sick in a 17-7 win over Saltillo. He’s hoping to begin his anticipated season Friday at New Albany.

He vividly recalls the run IAHS made his freshman season. That team went 13-1 and was the last team to beat two-time 4A champ Lafayette in the regular season, losing to the Commodores in the North finals.

When he does get on the field this season, his focus is simple.

“There’s not anything I’m changing. I’m just going to be sharper at the things I do,” he said.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com