By Doug Gorman
The recruiting news continues to heat up in the Southern Crescent.
Ola senior Ra'Chard Pippens is the latest from the area to offer a verbal commitment, chosing Stanford University after garnering interest from other schools.
According to various on-line recruiting websites, Pippens, who has played both cornerback and saftey as part of the Mustangs' secondary, called members of the Stanford coaching staff over the holiday weekend to let them know he wanted to be a Cardinal.
Pippens was flying high on many school's radar before making his non-binding verbal commitment to Stanford.
Among the schools who showed interest in the student-athlete were Northwestern, Maryland, and Harvard. Georgia and Georgia Tech also showed some interest.
Pippens heads into his senior year at Ola trying to help the Mustangs to their first trip to the playoffs in its five-year history,
Last season, Ola went 4-6 including victories over county rivals Stockbridge and Luella.
This season, Ola moves into Region 3B-AAAA and games against county rivals Dutchtown, Woodland and Union Grove will count toward the region standings.
Verbal comittments are non-binding and don't become official until the player signs a letter of intent next February.
At Stanford, Pippens would join a Cardinal squad which also has former Henry County wide receiver Jamal Patterson on its roster.
Pippens verbal commitment adds to the list of players from the Southern Crescent who have also announced where they will attend college in 2011.
Among those who have also given a verbal comittment is Amarlo Herrera who says he will attend the University of Georgia.
Mt. Zion's Quartterrio Morgan has verbally comitted to Georgia Tech. Christian Reeves, who plays tight end at ELCA, has been offered a scholarship to Virginia Tech and Ed Wilkins has been offered by Southern Miss.
Union Grove's defensive back Avery Walls is expected to announce his verbal comittment soon.
Lovejoy offensive lineman Lamont Hardy is also expected to be a Division I signee.