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Freeze on Golson: Will He Stay Or Will He Go? (Commentary)

Austin Golson.

So let me be the first to say it. I think there’s more to this story about Ole Miss starting offensive right guard Austin Golson leaving than we’ve heard thus far.
Coach Hugh Freeze said this week that Golson is thinking about transferring because both his grandfathers are sick. Golson is from Pratville, Ala. I’m sure that’s a fine town, and it just so happens to be a 70-mile hop, skip, and a jump to the home of last year’s national championship runner-up Auburn University.
Freeze has said the Rebels would not make any moves to block the young man from transferring to “any other SEW West Schools.”
Hmm. Last I heard, the Tigers were in the SEC West.
When they were alive, I loved my granddads. I have no doubt that Austin Golson adores his and I sure pray they feel better soon.
I have no quarrel with anyone changing his mind about a decision because of a family emergency. Then again, Oxford is a relatively short trip to Pratville. Seems like you could hurry home in a pinch pretty fast.
If you think I’m being callous here, let me know. But I’ll be honest — I don’t totally buy that the declining health of these two fine elderly gentlemen is the primary factor in Golson’s choice, if he does eventually leave Ole Miss
I think it’s much more likely to be a bunch of factors. Could be simple homesickness — a very powerful motivator for a young man not fully accustomed to living away from home for an extended time. Some people swear there’s a woman at the crux of every dramatic crisis. Not me, mind you.
Another possibility is dissatisfaction with his football situation here. Or maybe he finds “WAR EAGLE” a more blood-curdling battle cry than “Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty!”
I don’t have a clue, but I’m willing to bet it will be more complicated than the initial explanation.
Again, I don’t begrudge a talented player finding his best fit, but I also agree with Coach Freeze about commitments, which after all, is what accepting an athletic scholarship amounts to.
Coach Freeze values commitment.

In a tweet today Coach Freeze said, “Commitment is staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in, has left you.”
Freeze is also quoted by a local web site to have said,  “We don’t want someone here who doesn’t want to be here.”
I’m sure Coach is feeling really awful about the possibility of this talented young man leaving, and I don’t mean just in football terms. Freeze strikes me as supremely sincere in his commitment (there’s that word) to the overall happiness and success of all the players on his squad.
But let’s not kid ourselves, a Golson-deprived offensive line is going to hurt big time. He is a member of the Rebels’ top-five ranked recruiting class of 2013. He was the No. 3 high school offensive tackle in the nation that year, and his loss would hurt the Rebels in exactly the spot they most need to improve — the offensive line.
Golson played in 12 games as a true freshman last year at the right guard position; however, he was moved to right tackle at the beginning of this year’s spring practice and seemed to be the answer for the Rebels at that key position.
In the end, whatever his reasons, Golson has a perfect right to go where he will be most happy. He is a young man and young men change their minds when the mood is gone —with apologies to Coach Freeze and thousands of worried Rebel faithful.
If Golson is thinking seriously about transferring to another SEC school — maybe one where Bo Jackson used to romp — let’s wish him well and keep the faith. Coach Freeze and his staff will do their best to fill his spot. And of course, we fans will scream our intimidating war cry as the Rebels demolish the Tigers this fall at the Vaught.
But we can still yearn for the flip side of youthful indecision. Maybe Austin (is it my imagination or is every third great athlete at Ole Miss named Austin?) is still making up his mind. Inside OleMissSports.com reports that Coach Freeze says nothing is set in stone at this point. “He is going to look into his options. Nothing has been decided,” Freeze said.
That’s the thing about young men and decisions. They usually come at the last possible minute. Good luck, Austin, wherever you land.
Andy Knef is editor of HottyToddy.com and someone who was full of youthful indecision when he was young. Now he orders the Peacemaker every time at Bouré. Contact Andy about this story at Andy.Knef@Hottytoddy.com 

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