High School Sports

Poplarville athlete’s recruitment is beginning to heat up

Poplarville’s D.J. Travis chases Florence quarterback Brad Dennis during their 4A South State title game in 2016. Travis recently popped up on the recruiting radar.
Poplarville’s D.J. Travis chases Florence quarterback Brad Dennis during their 4A South State title game in 2016. Travis recently popped up on the recruiting radar. ttisbell@sunherald.com file

Things are about to get busy for Poplarville’s D.J. Travis.

The Hornets defensive back and lead return man has seen his recruitment skyrocket in recent weeks.

Things began to pick up in late February when he got his first offer, from Arkansas State.

Since then, the rising senior has picked up interest from other regional schools such as Southern Miss, Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulane.

“I felt like I achieved a lot,” Travis told the Sun Herald on Wednesday. “I knew I was going to get an offer (from ASU), but I guess I had to stay patient. It felt good because of all the hard work I’ve put in.”

Former Ole Miss and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College assistant coach Luke Paschall has been Travis’ point of contact with ASU.

“He told me he’s been watching my film lately,” Travis said. “He said he wants to come down and watch us this spring. He said he liked how I play.”

Of the 21 defensive backs listed on Arkansas State’s roster, 11 are listed as underclassmen for the 2017 season.

The opportunity to play early in Jonesboro is intriguing to Travis.

“I’m really looking into the school,” he said. “I like it a lot.”

At 6 feet and 155 pounds, Travis has the height most college programs are looking for at cornerback. He acknowledged he needs to add at least 30 pounds before he leaves Poplarville.

Still, he claims a 4.4-second 40-yard-dash time, which is more than sufficient.

“My coverage skills have gotten me on the recruiting radar,” he said. “I feel like I do a good job in coverage. I think I can keep up with anybody.”

Other options

Travis has visited Southern Miss and ULL in recent weeks.

“It was a great experience,” he said of his short trip to Hattiesburg. “I got to hang with coach (Desmond) Lindsey and watch them practice. It was good.

“They stay hype no matter what.”

USM, ULL and Tulane haven’t offered yet, but Travis said he’s hopeful. In the meantime, he’s going to focus on spring football, which starts next week.

“I’m just going to stay humble,” he said. “I’m not looking for a handout. I’m just going to keep working hard.”

Back for more

Travis played a major role in Poplarville’s 12-2 Class 4A South State Championship team last year.

In addition to being a shutdown corner, recording 26 tackles with two interceptions and defending a team-high seven passes, he also returned kicks and punts and played some receiver.

Although the Hornets will graduate 17 players, Travis said PHS has big-time expectations heading into the 2017 season.

“Nothing less. I feel like we need to go back (to the championship game),” he said. “We have a lot to prove.”

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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