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3-star forward Antavion Collum commits to Ole Miss over Florida and Georgetown

The man known as “Dude” is the second big-time get for Kermit in the 2019 class.

Middle Tennessee v Syracuse Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kermit Davis and Co. made waves earlier this Spring when they received a commitment from three-star center Rodney Howard, beating out in-state Georgia and new head coach Tom Crean. And now, the staff is loading up again with another explosive play-maker for the front court after their Crootapalooza for the Alabama football game is clearly starting to pay dividends.

Three-star small forward Antavion “Dude” Collum has chosen to end his recruitment and verbally commit to Kermit and the Ole Miss Rebels after his official visit. The No. 4 player in the Volunteer State chose Oxford and The Pavilion over offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Louisville, Missouri, UNLV, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas State, Maryland, Memphis, Miami (Fla.), Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, and Western Kentucky.

The Tennessee Prep Academy star originally played for new Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway at Memphis East (Tenn.) and won back-to-back state titles, but transferred for his junior season. He was recruited to TPA by head coach and school president Harold Rayford because of his interest in Dude playing some point guard for him. This versatility that Collum was able to exhibit was a catalyst in him receiving over 50 scholarship offers before his senior season.

Antavion plays with North Carolina-based CP3 on the summer AAU circuit and has really honed his skills as a potential back court mismatch that could serve Kermit well once he arrives in Oxford. At 6’7, 215-pounds, he is a load to handle for smaller guards trying to defend off the dribble while still maintaining his identity as a front court player off the block.

He finished his summer averaging 7.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists in limited time on a loaded roster full on Power 5 talent. But Collum’s biggest assist could come in the form of another local star: best friend and former teammate Chandler Lawson.

In an interview with the Ole Miss Spirit’s Ben Garrett, Lawson proclaimed how close they are and that it is certainly a possibility.

“He isn’t just a good friend, he’s my best friend,” Lawson said in an interview with The Ole Miss Spirit on Thursday. “(Playing together) is something we’re both considering. We’d love to go to college together. I mean, to be able to play with your best friend since you were little kids is a factor for me and Antavion. Not the factor, but it’s a factor.”

Another prospect that could be paying attention to Ole Miss now that Dude has verbally committed is former Kentucky commit and Olive Branch, Miss. forward D.J. Jeffries. The four-star, No. 47 overall player in the country also visited Oxford for the Alabama game and Kermit mad an impression apparently.

The Rebs aren’t the only ones in hot pursuit of the reigning 5A Mississippi Player of the Year, Memphis and Mississippi State are also coming after the state’s No. 1 player, too.

Time will tell if Dude and Ole Miss can close on one of if not both of these targets.

How does he fit in?

Dude is as dynamic as they come. He can play almost everywhere on the floor and is explosive off the dribble or with his back to the basket. Collum does it all for the Diplomat Lions. He operates well in the front court and back court. He will most likely be a stretch three for Kermit, but can certainly be a guy to either play the one or the two when lineups get shaken up a bit.

He is deceptively quick on the low block and can get underneath much bigger, slower guys and score at the cup. Collum will be an instant impact guy because of his versatility and length. Kermit and his staff have to be geeked up for him to arrive and be a presence in their 1-3-1 zone and press sets.

But, don’t forget about the long game. He can definitely step out and bury one from deep if you don’t show him respect. And he’s also got an impressive “on the fly” game, driving to the hoop, and rising on the fly to sink an unsuspecting floater. Not to mention, he can drive the lane and catch a body at the drop of a hat (see at the end of the video below).

Luckily, the Rebels only lose senior Bruce Stevens after the 2018-2019 season so that front court is now stockpiled with talent, including the 2018 haul of Blake Hinson, Carlos Curry, K.J. Buffen, and Luis Rodriguez.

This is one to get excited about, y’all. Forget the three-star ranking, the offer sheet says it all. Great get for the Ole Miss Rebels.