“I was waiting on a call last night from Ole Miss but never got it,” he said.
Interest from the Rebels started last week when defensive coordinator Dave Wommack traveled to Lineville to see Staples, spending the day at Clay Central, attending the Volunteers’ basketball game that night and inviting Staples to visit campus over the weekend.
However, the senior was unable to make the trip to Oxford, Miss. In turn, he did not hear back from the Rebels, which landed him with UAB, where he will play wide receiver.
“They stood out to me once I took my official visit,” Staples said about the Blazers. “I liked the vision the coaches have for where the program is going.”
Along with recording 41 tackles and four interceptions at safety, Staples had 574 yards and three touchdowns.
“Jamari has great size,” Clay Central coach Steve Giddens said about the 6-4, 175-pounder. “With his frame I think Jamari is going to be able to get thicker and put on a little bit more weight without losing his quickness and outright speed.”
MAJOR DEAL: It only took Piedmont’s Jamie Major one visit to Samford. But that’s all it took.
Major cut his recruiting off three weeks ago despite originally planning on using the four official visits he had remaining.
“The coaches took me in, and we built a good relationship, and I feel like I can trust them,” Major said. “They treated me like one of their own on my official visit.”
Despite having numerous schools interested and several other offers, including one from Indiana, the linebacker was confident in his decision to remain a Bulldog at the next level.
“Coach (Pat) Sullivan said ‘When you feel right, it’s right,’ and that’s what I did,” Major said. “Indiana is a great school, and I’d love to play Big Ten ball, but I think Samford is the perfect place for me.”
After recording a team-leading 135 tackles, nine for a loss, and five sacks, along with getting an all-state nod for the third consecutive season, Major has a chance to start in the fall and has been preparing for summer workouts since committing.
“I’m running, lifting, trying to stay in shape until they send me their conditioning book for what they want me to do for when I go down there in the summertime,” he said.
LEWIS TAPPED BY FAULKNER: Oxford’s leading offensive lineman, Tim Lewis, is going to play the next four years at Faulkner.
The Eagles were the first school that recruited Lewis, and Lewis gave Oxford offensive line coach Jeremy Tapley credit for helping him develop into the player he’s become.
“I think that my preparations here have prepared me for college because this is a larger high school,” Lewis said. “...I just wasn’t ready to hang up the shoulder pads yet, and Faulkner gave me an opportunity to go play with them. I’m just ready to go hit somebody right now.”
BACK TO CAMP: Spring Garden two-way player B.J. Turner remained as faithful to Faulkner as its coaching staff remained to him.
After going to an Eagles’ summer camp in 2012, Faulkner began showing interest and offered him three weeks ago after Turner graded out all season more than 85 percent while playing with ACL and meniscus tears. Despite the strong grading, Jacksonville State and Troy were more shaky about the tears and did not offer.
“Honestly, after Faulkner kept talking to me, I didn’t care who else was looking at me,” Turner said. “They won me over just by taking a chance with me.”
After Turner is cleared in May, there’s still the question of if he will play on the offensive or defensive line at Faulkner.
MOVING ON: Marquez Gamble’s commitment to Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, Ky.) came on signing day, only an hour before he made it official.
“It was a last-minute thing,” he said. “I went up there last weekend, it’s a five-hour drive, and I just fell in love with the place.”
What the defensive lineman, who finished his senior season with 66 tackles, nine for a loss, and five sacks, loved the most about the NAIA school is it reminded him of Piedmont.
“It’s small, but it’s a little bit bigger,” Gamble said. “And it’s far away from home, so it’ll give me a chance to grow up on my own, meet new people and have new experiences.”
HANDLEY’S HAUL: There were no big surprises at Handley.
Led by four-star lineman Bradley Bozeman (6-5, 315), the five Tiger seniors went exactly where most thought they would.
Bozeman went to Alabama, where he’s been committed for 18 months — an eternity by recruiting standards. Sedrick Tucker went to West Georgia Tech (a junior college), and Shaquan Glass, Tevin Cook and Trae Kyles all are headed to North Alabama.
With many tricks and switches that have been customary on National Signing Day, there kind of was one for Glass.
Cook, Kyles and Glass all visited the University of North Alabama together. They’d all committed together.
Then Cook and Kyles decided to have a little fun — they told Glass Thursday they’d decommitted.
Glass pumped his fist wildly when the two put on UNA’s purple hat.