|ESPN.com: College Football||[Print without images]|
Defensive tackle Lavon Hooks, the No. 15 prospect in the ESPN Junior College 100, committed to Ole Miss on Thursday over offers from several top programs, including Auburn, Mississippi State, Nebraska and Washington.
"I decided on Ole Miss," Hooks said. "I signed and faxed it in at 9:36 last night."
It capped a whirlwind week for the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder from Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Last weekend, Hooks struggled to choose among the Miami Hurricanes, Auburn and Washington for his last official visit, before finally deciding to check out the Huskies.
Hooks was set to decide among Washington, Ole Miss and Mississippi State Monday afternoon, but could not. Auburn and Nebraska had made last-minute pushes for the four-star lineman, and Hooks decided to delay his commitment until Wednesday.
As fans, reporters and college coaches waited on Hooks to make his announcement via his Twitter account, no tweet came. The coaches were making things difficult for Hooks as he tried to make his choice.
In the end, Ole Miss won.
"The atmosphere down there is great and the other guys they have coming in are just as excited as I am," Hooks said. "My mom and dad were both very emotional about it as well."
Hooks, named an NJCAA honorable mention All-American, had 51 tackles, 9½ sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in nine games this season. He was second in the country with 20½ tackles for loss.
Hooks said his role at Ole Miss will depend on the opponent.
"They want me to play the 3-technique at defensive tackle, and defensive end at the 6-technique for when we play bigger teams like Alabama and LSU," Hooks said.
The coveted juco prospect arrived at Northeast Mississippi CC as a basketball player, but now plans to enroll Jan. 2 with two years to play football.
Hooks becomes the 10th four-star prospect and third defensive tackle to select the Rebels in the 2013 recruiting cycle.
Ole Miss is still in the running for several other elite prospects, including No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) and No. 1 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee).