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Memphis Whitehaven Duo Chooses SEC

Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven High School juniors Mark Dodson and Gerald Perry both announced on Monday they’ll play in the SEC.

Dodson, a running back, committed to Ole Miss while Perry gave his pledge to play wide receiver at Vanderbilt. Many, including Dodson and Perry, wondered if they would choose the same school. In the end, the two players had different interests.

“Ever since we were little, we talked about going to the same school and playing together at the same college,” Perry told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I guess things don’t always work out like you want them to, but I know Mark’s gonna do well down at Ole Miss, and I know I’m gonna do good at Vanderbilt. Hopefully when we play against each other, it’ll be like nothing’s different.”

Both Dodson and Perry chose programs that are in the early stages of a new era. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is coming off a successful first season in Nashville while Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze is preparing for his opening season in Oxford.

Dodson was intrigued by the idea of playing in Freeze’s new offense.

“I see the program is on the rise,” Dodson said. “It’s gonna take a year or two, but the recruiting class is shaping up very well. You just have to be patient.”

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Arkansas Loses Ground In Dodson’s Recruitment

Don’t expect junior running back Mark Dodson Jr. to commit to Arkansas if the Razorbacks haven’t found a permanent replacement for former football coach Bobby Petrino by May 14.

That’s when Dodson plans to announce his college decision.

“(Arkansas) most likely wouldn’t be the school I’d choose,” said Dodson, who attends Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven High School.

Dodson, who’s also considering Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, said it would be difficult to choose Arkansas if the Razorbacks don’t have a new coach in place.

Petrino was a key reason Dodson has shown interest in Arkansas. He said he felt confident in how he would be used in Petrino’s offense.

“To me, the run was his first option,” Dodson said. “He was running the ball a lot but at the same time he was passing the ball efficiently. He had a balanced offense. Now with the new coach, I don’t know how things will go. The chemistry might be different.”

And Dodson’s choice might be different now that Petrino is no longer the coach at Arkansas.

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