Sports

St. Stanislaus' Conides calls out Ole Miss over recruiting efforts

By PATRICK OCHS

pochs@sunherald.com

Twitter: PatrickOchs

St. Stanislaus coach Bill Conides took to Twitter on Wednesday to vent his frustrations with Ole Miss' lack of recruiting in South Mississippi. Fourteen 2017 recruits currently hold at least one Division I offer, ranging from Troy, Southern Miss, West Virginia to Cal, Tennessee and Mississippi State. The Rebels have yet to offer any of the Coast's football players.

A few hours after Mississippi State offered St. Stanislaus tight end Chase Rogers, Rockachaws coach Bill Conides took to Twitter to call out the SEC's other in-state program.

“Dear @OleMissFB thanks for not offering my kids. I can't wait for their teams to schedule you in the future. Get ready to get skull-drug,” he tweeted.

The frustration is nothing new for Conides as Ole Miss has yet to offer any of South Mississippi's 2017 recruits. But Wednesday his frustrations came to a boiling point.

Conides, who has never shied away from speaking his mind, said the tweet wasn't a case of sour grapes. Rather, the message came out of frustration after he feels his kids have been played by the Rebels.

“No one (with Ole Miss) has ever said 'we're not going to offer Chase (Rogers) or we're not going to offer Myles (Brennan) because of X, Y, Z.' I've got that from people like Mississippi State,” Conides said. “They told me flat-out exactly what they were looking for and that was it. With Ole Miss, it was kind of, we'll wait and see.

“Well, unfortunately for Ole Miss, folks in the SEC know what our young men can do and have offered. It's going to be sweet revenge on some Saturdays.”

Conides said Ole Miss has essentially continued to put his players off, saying they'd visit or reach out without following through.

“Now it's nearly April 1,” he said.

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Conides's tweet certainly got plenty attention. In addition to being retweeted and commented on by Ole Miss and MSU's faithful, the message also caught the attention of former Gulfport standout and current Rebel co-offensive coordinator Matt Luke.

“The funny thing is, and it's just the way things work with social media, I put it out on Twitter and then Matt Luke, who is responsible for our area, texted me and said 'Hey, Coach. I'd like to talk to you about your last tweet,'” Conides said. “He has tried to call me and Facetime me all of a sudden out of nowhere.

“It's like, I've been trying to get in touch with you guys for two years now. If that's what it takes to get people's attention, then I think their priorities are in the wrong place. We're talking about 16-, 17-year-old kids. We're talking about kids.”

Ole Miss' 2016 signing class included Shea Patterson, considered one of the top quarterbacks in his class, and three tight ends. Conides said he understands there's positional overlap with Brennan and Rogers, one of the top pass-catching duos in the state over the last two years. But, he said, his frustration goes back to feeling like his players were being strung along.

Ole Miss has expressed interest in Rogers and Brennan, but has yet to pull the trigger and officially offer. Conides said Ole Miss' slow play of the Rockachaws has actually impacted their recruitment by other schools.

“That was the big hesitation with a lot of the out-of-state schools,” Conides said. “They're worried 'We're going to put in all this ground work and offer your guy, and then Ole Miss is going to do what they do and you're going to go play for them.' Our kids, at this point, are like, the hell with them.”

Conides then reiterated: “If they had come to me and said, the reason we haven't offered Myles Brennan is because of X, Y and Z, or there's a reason we haven't offered Chase Rogers, then I would totally understand that.”

Both Rogers and Brennan have Ole Miss ties, which perhaps adds to the frustration. Rogers said he comes from an “Ole Miss family,” and his dad, Joey, was a former Rebel walk-on. Brennan's older brother, Bo, was a reserve quarterback at Ole Miss.

Still, Conides said he's sticking up for his players and, as a result, he's done with the Rebels.

“This has nothing to do with me. I'm just a high school ball coach. I want to make sure we call these people out because they think they're on top of the world and can do what they do and manipulate the minds of 16- and 17-year-old kids. I'm not going to let that happen. I'm done with them.

“When teams come and recruit our kids the right way is when my door is open to them.”

Brennan threw for 5,248 yards and 53 touchdowns last season and has racked up 11,045 yards and 117 touchdowns in two seasons while leading SSC to back-to-back Class 4A South State titles. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound rising senior holds offers from Memphis, Southern Miss, Troy, South Alabama, Cal, Kentucky, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Indiana, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas-San Antonio and Vanderbilt.

Rogers recently committed to Tennessee after catching 81 passes for 1,462 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2015. He also holds offers from Memphis, Wake Forest, Troy, South Alabama, Tulane, Cal, Arkanas State, UAB, Colorado State, Louisiana-Lafayette, UTSA and now Mississippi State.

Fellow SSC tight end Darius Pittman holds offers from Wake Forest, ULL, Louisiana Tech, South Alabama and UTSA. He caught 56 passes for 926 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

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