The early-day summons to the office carried suspense for Ashton Shumpert, who was surprised to find his coach and principal waiting on him.
They handed him a letter and Shumpert carefully looked over it, uncertain its purpose.
Shumpert, an all-around star this season for Mississippi’s Itawamba AHS, first thought it was for Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, but soon learned it was something else.
When he looked up, a smile on his face, hugs soon followed for the state of Mississippi’s Gatorade player of the year.
“They just handed me a piece of paper and said to read it,” Shumpert said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
Similar suspense follows for both Shumpert’s college plans and any college’s plans for Shumpert. He’s carefully weighing about 10 major offers, while his future college role is also uncertain.
Shumpert was primarily a running back in high school, but he’s nebulously tagged as an “athlete” in recruiting.
“Right now, they’re talking to me about playing running back,” Shumpert said. “Whatever college I chose, they can put me where they want.”
Less than a minute later, Shumpert said: “I like to look at myself as a wide receiver.”
Shumpert ran for almost 1,800 yards and 25 touchdowns this season, helping Itawamba AHS (12-1) reach the state quarterfinals. He also caught 15 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns. As a safety, Shumpert made 64 tackles and two interceptions.
In his career, which started at Itawamba before he played at Tupelo as a sophomore and junior, Shumpert has played everywhere but offensive line. He even joked that he’s willing to dole out water, if necessary.
“I’ll do it. I would,” Shumpert said. “It depends on if I was too tired. If I wasn’t too tired, I’d do it.”