In the run-up to the Under Armour All-American Game, media outlets are speaking to the game’s stars in the most wide-ranging interviews they can get. When SB Nation reporters Morgan Moriarty and Bud Elliott spoke to Chevin Calloway, a Texas native and defensive back who is considering Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas most prominently, he offered a very unique anecdote about how Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has been putting potential NCAA sanctions at the school in perspective.
“Well, Coach Freeze told me when you’re that big and out there with faith in Christ, he’s like, ‘What do you expect? Jesus got nailed to the cross.’ So, he was just telling me sometimes things like that happen, but that’s never going to change how he’s going to treat his players and take care of them. Even if — I don’t know if he really did make the mistake, doing what he did or not — but I can just tell he’s a good person, great person. I know they’re looking at maybe a bowl suspension [for 2017]. I don’t know what they’re gonna do. But I don’t think that’ll affect anything as far as how he treats his players and stuff like that.”
Comparing a college football program to Jesus Christ seems like a bit of a stretch, even for true believers on both counts. It also harkens back to past great coaches who channeled personal religious fervor for motivation (Colorado great Bill McCartney anyone?), though there is a very different aspect to making the biblical comparison relative to supposed persecution.
For his part, Calloway clarified his comments Wednesday on Twitter.
Will the gambit work? Only time will tell, but Freeze and Ole Miss sure must hope so; the Rebels currently have just 13 verbal commits and are on the edge of the nation’s top-50 recruiting classes.