Itawamba AHS put a good ole whipping on Senatobia this past Friday, but it was
the return of their star player that caught everyone's attention.
"It felt really good to get back on the field with all of these guys,"
Shumpert said. "It has been two years since I have put on that uniform
here and it just felt really good to get those letters back on my chest. We
beat Senatobia 33-0 and my adrenalin was very high. I rushed for 153 yards and
3 TD's, and I had 12 tackles on defense."
Mono causes your spleen to enlarge and Ashton Shumpert was just waiting for
it to get down to regular size.
"That was the hardest part of sitting out. I felt good and healthy but
my spleen would not go down. I have been running and lifting for a few weeks
now. I finally got cleared to start getting hit last week. It was one of the
best days of my life getting cleared. You never know how important something
is until it is taken away from you."
Some colleges are looking at Ashton to play on the defensive side of the ball.
How natural did it feel to play defense again after taking a two-year layoff
from that side of the ball?
"It's like riding a bike. I feel really good on that side of the ball.
I love to hit and just get physical out there. I have always loved playing defense.
Tupelo just couldn't afford for me to get injured so I just ran the ball."
The 4-Star athlete got some rest, woke up and drove 40 miles to Oxford the
next day to see the Rebels play the Longhorns.
"My father and cousin came with me. It was his second trip to Ole Miss
this month. He lives in Georgia so he wants to get a good look at all of the
schools I am looking at. He has been over there a few times before but he wants
to get to know the new staff."
What was Ashton keying on?
"I was looking at how well they would play against a great non-SEC team.
They looked really good at first and then it went downhill after that."
Was that a negative that it went downhill?
"No, because they kept fighting. They just got some bad turnovers that
flipped the game but they kept fighting. That is what I was looking at mainly.
I also wanted to look at their offense. I looked at their offense before the
season started so it was not really brand new to me. They run the same offense
that my high school runs. We pretty much run the spread here."
Does their offense fit Shumpert's game?
"It is kind of new to me. I have been trying to learn the offense since
this spring. I am getting more familiar with it, but it has taken some time to get
What was the highlight of the trip?
"I would have to say how their offense was driving it down the field in
the first half. They were moving it pretty much at will. I also liked the atmosphere
for the game. I know it was against Texas and the fans would be a little extra
charged, but it was crazy. Their fans thought they were going to win, including
me, and everybody was going crazy before the game. I can't imagine what it would
be like if they started winning good again. Their fans are just crazy. The locker
room before the game was crazy too. Everybody was going crazy. It was fun."
Shumpert attended the MSU-Auburn game the weekend before.
"That was probably one of the best games I have ever seen them play since
I started watching them. Their defense was awesome. Tyler Russell was finding
open players. Their running backs were rotating and doing pretty good and doing
Is there a better fit between the Ole Miss and MSU offense?
"They both run the spread so it is basically the same."
What is on tap next, visit wise?
"I am not going anywhere this or next weekend. Georgia Tech and Georgia
are trying to get me up for a game. Vandy too."
When did Georgia Tech start contacting Shumpert?
"They called me last week and were trying to get me up there for their
game against Miami this weekend."
Does Ashton still want to make a decision after the season is over?
"Yes, I want to play out my season and then take my official visits. I
am in no hurry."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at email@example.com