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.