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July 29, 2011

Leaders emerging for Liggins

While being an Oxford, Miss., native, it is no sure thing that Lafayette County quarterback Jeremy Liggins is planning on going to school at Ole Miss, despite Houston Nutt's advances.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound dual-threat quarterback has listed a top four of LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, though he could perhaps be narrowing things down.

At the Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen photo shoot, a gathering of the 12 best high school players in Mississippi, Liggins may have been feeling a bit of statesmanship. Morton defensive tackle and fellow Dandy Dozen member Quay Evans told Rivals.com on Wednesday that he, Liggins and Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward talked at the shoot about joining together and attending the same school.

What's the goal?

Said Liggins, "Being a guy from Mississippi, I've always wanted to see a Mississippi team win."

Evans said that many of the top players in the state have discussed the potential of a Mississippi team winning a national championship if enough of them to band together.

Of course, Liggins not only has to figure out what school he will attend. He also wants to make sure he has his position figured out. At 270-pounds, Liggins isn't the prototypical build for a passer. Some have said that he could eventually find a home as a tight end, defensive end or even linebacker.

If he gets his way, though, Liggins will continue as a signal-caller.

"There's been a lot of confusion on whether I'm going to play quarterback or switch to another position," Liggins said. "But in my heart, I feel like I can play quarterback if I put my mind to it and get taught by the right people."

As for those "right people," Liggins said that in addition to Nutt and MSU head coach Dan Mullen, he is hearing the most from Mike Markuson, Ole Miss' running game coordinator/offensive line coach and Scott Sallach, MSU's tight ends coach, in the recruiting process

"The coaches feel like I can be a college quarterback, too," Liggins said. "As long as I go out to the camps and show them what I can do. They work with me and they say I only got little things that I need to work on."

As for making a final choice, Liggins has said he has no definitive timeline. For the two in-state schools, he said both have distinct advantages. Naturally, the hometown Ole Miss is special to him.

"That's right there at my backdoor," Liggins said. "When I was young, I used to walk from my house just to watch Ole Miss play."

As for the Rebels' rival, Liggins said the Bulldogs have plenty to offer, too.

"I like Mississippi State because I like the offense," Liggins said. "That's what we run in high school, more of a spread kind of offense. That's what I do."

Liggins said seeing Chris Relf, a mobile quarterback who many thought would have to change positions, offers him hope for what he wants to do.

"It just shows you that anybody who wants to do it can do it," Liggins said.

The three-star prospect is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 17 dual-threat quarterback in the country for the class of 2012 and he racked up 2,847 yards and 37 touchdowns last year.

Entering his senior year, Liggins said he knows he has a big decision to make, but his main focus is his current team and getting back to the playoffs.

"I'm just trying to go different places and check them out and see what I like about them, but it's time for real football season now," Liggins said. "I'm just trying to get with my team and get down here to Jackson next year."



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