Payback

Payback

Daronte Bouldin remembers it like yesterday when the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star roster was announced and his name was not listed.

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"I was like coach, how did this happen," Bouldin said. "It put a hole in me, I'm not going to lie. Then I started looking at the roster closer and I noticed Davion Johnson didn't make it either. I was like something is up. My coach looked at me and said don't worry about it. Politics came into play. It's a lesson I'm learning at a young age. No disrespect to any of the other linemen that played in that game, but we feel like we're the best tandem in Mississippi."

Bouldin and Johnson, two Ole Miss commits, were mysteriously left off of the Mississippi team and yet they were two of the most highly thought of and sought after linemen in the state this year.

"It's just politics. That's all it is. I know this, let's see how me and Davion play in college and then lets revisit this in four years. We're going to let our play do the talking. It's kind of like Donte Moncrief. I talked to him about it because he was left off (of the MS-AL All-Star game) too. He told me that he just used that as motivation when he got to college, and now look at where he's at and go back and look at where the other wide receivers are that played in that game. That's what me and Davion plan to do. But I also want to add that me and Davion are still proud to be playing in the Mississippi North-South game, and we're going to represent ourselves and Ole Miss well. Yes, we would have rather played against some better competition, but we're still representing our state and schools in the North-South game. I'm taking it very seriously."

Scout.com's #49 ranked offensive tackle attended the state championship games to get a taste of what it's like to play for all the marbles.

"At first we were on Brandon's side to see what the atmosphere was like on their side, and then we moved over to South Panola's side to see what it was like on their side. It was awesome. I saw coach Matt Luke (Ole Miss OL coach ) so I sat with him through the game. We were just building a better relationship as a coach and player. Every play coach Luke would ask me what they were going to run and what I would do as a linemen on each play. It was awesome to see how much he knew about the game. He was pretty much picking what each team was going to do play by play."

Bouldin earned 5A All-State status after a solid senior season.

"It was a great season. In the big situations they were always running behind me. I had a great season. We made it to the first round of the playoffs but got beat by a great West Point team. We had a running back get over 1,500 yards rushing, and he missed a couple of games. We did well."

The 6' 5", 320-pound Bouldin feels like he made several improvements this season.

"We ran the ball so much, but I needed to get better in pass protection so I really concentrating this season on my techniques on the passing downs. I felt like I did a good job in pass protection this season. I improved my pull blocking. I was pulling off last season but I stayed on my blocks longer this year. I'm 6' 5". Me and coach Luke haven't talked too much about which position I'm going to play at Ole Miss because I'm still growing, but I played guard this season. I did a lot of pulling and pass blocking as well. Coach Luke said that I'm still growing and could play tackle or guard. Aaron Morris is the same size I am and he's playing guard too, but it really doesn't matter where I play."

Most freshmen do not want to hear the dreaded word "redshirt" but Daronte believes that it might be in his best interest to do just that.

"My mom asked coach Freeze when he came but if they were going to redshirt me or not. She thought that it could be a positive if I did. I could get a better feel for the SEC and get in their weight program and get even stronger and save my eligibility. Coach Freeze told me that it was up to me. It doesn't really matter to me. I don't care about redshirting. I'll just look at it as a positive if I do, but if they need me, I'll go out there and be ready. I'm coming in there next season with the frame of mind that I am trying to get a spot."

Coach Freeze used his home visit with the Canton native right before the Christmas break.

"It was great. Coach (Dan) Werner, Coach (Derrick) Nix, and Coach Freeze came to my house. Mom cooked a big feast, and I'll tell you this, there was a lot of eating going on. They've never had anything like my mamma's food. I had to leave to work so Coach Freeze came to where I worked and the other coaches stayed with my family at home. It was pretty big for a big-time coach to come down to where I worked and introduce himself to everyone. When I got done with work we all met back up at my house. My mom asked a lot of questions and they answered all of them. They wanted to make sure I was still solid, and of course we told them they had nothing to worry about. I'm 110% sure of my decision. They told my mother that they were going to make sure that I keep up with my books and get my degree. That's really all she was concerned about. We filled out the applications to get accepted into school and got all of the paperwork out of the way."

The Ole Miss staff went over when they expected Bouldin to report.

"They told me that they want me to enroll in June after I graduate. I graduate on May 18th so I have to go to an orientation and get all of my paperwork done in time so I can get enrolled in time for the first summer session."

Grades will not be a problem.

"I already have my ACT and core GPA. I'm good to go."

Bouldin will take his official visit with the majority of Ole Miss top recruits on January 25-27.

"I've been talking to Ryan Buchanan about that. Me and him have built a great relationship. Ryan does all of the recruiting. He's constantly tweeting the other prospects and talking to them on the phone daily. I tell him that he's going to be a coach one day. You can just tell that he's going to be one some day. I do a little myself, and I'm going to help out that weekend, but the one person I'm staying on is Ashton Shumpert. We've built a great relationship as well. I just tell him why I like it so much at Ole Miss and for him to come run behind me. But mainly, I leave it all up to Ryan. He's our general in our class."

In the end what made Ole Miss the best fit?

"Because Coach Freeze is a good Christian man. I built a great relationship with him and Coach Luke and Coach Nix. MSU was the first school to offer me, but Ole Miss kept coming. It was just the love they had for me that won me over."

Are there any schools that continue to recruit the Ole Miss commit?

"Auburn has been talking to my coaches, but I'm not going anywhere. MSU still comes after me too, but like I said, I'm 110% Rebel."


Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com

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