Breath easy, folks: D'Vaughn Pennamon isn't flipping to Bama or A&M. Despite a furious push by Nick Saban and Kevin Sumlin, the four-star running back signed with Ole Miss on Wednesday.
Pennamon has been committed to the Rebels since July of 2015, but recently began showing serious interest in Bama, who's running back depth chart opened up with the departure of Heisman winner Derrick Henry. Nick Saban visited Pennamon on Jan. 20 and Pennamon returned the favor with an official visit to Tuscaloosa during their big visit weekend a few days later.
"I feel like they're making me a high priority," Pennamon told AL.com last week. "They just lost two guys and they need a couple of guys. The opportunity is there."
A&M put the full court press on as well.
"My favorite official visit has been here at Oxford, but A&M is coming after me extremely hard," Pennamon told Scout.com on Sunday as he was leaving Ole Miss. "They're telling me I'll have an opportunity to play quickly and make an impact."
Pennamon's loaded offer sheet also includes Arkansas, California, Florida, Houston, Louisville, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Here's how the different crootin services have him rated:
How does he fit in?
As prolific as Freeze's spread offense has been over the last four seasons, the inability to pound the ball in short-yardage situations has remained a common gripe. The 5'11, 220-pound Pennamon should help change that. The young man they call "Blue" has played in a spread offense his entire high school career so he should be comfortable working in Ole Miss' zone read scheme. He shows patience when running between the tackles and sets up his blocks well, then looks to deliver the blow once he reaches the second level.
Just as significant, he'll be able to contribute in the passing game. Pennamon, who had 460 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns catches between his last two high school seasons, had scouts raving about his hands during Semper Fidelis All-Star Bowl practices in early January.