football

Rebel commit chasing hoop dreams

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Back on July 21, Ole Miss picked up a commitment from three-star athlete Shay Hodge. The 6-foot-2, 174-pound pledged to the Rebels and assistant coach Noel Mazzone after turning down offers from Iowa State, Mississippi State and Southern Miss. Almost everybody assumed that the recruiting process was over, but Hodge said on Tuesday night that might not be necessarily true.
"I still have some thinking to do," Hodge, the No. 15 player in Mississippi, said. "I'm planning on heading to Ole Miss, but I'm kind of starting to think more and more about basketball offers now. Tennessee and Vanderbilt are talking about offering me in basketball.
"If they do, then I would have to do some serious thinking. I love basketball, and I've been playing it since I was three. It's what I'm best at."
Hodge played AAU ball this summer with the Jackson Panthers as a guard that averaged around 13 points a game. He said he has talked to the Ole Miss staff about playing both football and basketball in college and he was given his blessing to do that.
Yet, the hoop dreams are tough to shake.
There were reports that Hodge had actually quit his football team last week and was going to focus solely on basketball. Hodge said on Tuesday that he's sticking it out through football practice, but he made it clear that his heart might not be totally in it.
"I'm in good shape, but man those practices are too long," he said. "They're too long for a practice."
Hodge, though, did get a little more excited when talking about playing receiver this year instead of quarterback.
"You don't have to worry about anybody hitting you on every play at receiver," he said. "Plus, you can turn the game around with one play. If you can make the big catch and take it to the house, then the game changes because of you."
Now Ole Miss fans have to see if the game will change on them, too.
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