Middle Tennessee’s top linebacker recruit Detric Bing-Dukes announced Thursday, via Twitter, that he has decided to switch his commitment to attend SEC powerhouse Ole Miss.
“Middle Tennessee didn’t do anything that turned me off,” Bing-Dukes said. “Middle Tennessee is a great school, and I don’t want to take anything away from Middle Tennessee. They have a great coaching staff and they have a great program.”
Bing-Dukes was scheduled to graduate in December, but he failed to meet the academic requirements for graduation from Iowa Western Community College, which allowed his recruitment to reopen.
“I was taking 24 credit hours [last semester], so I could graduate in December. I failed one of my classes, so I fell short. If I would’ve passed my class, I would be in Murfreesboro and playing ball,” Bing-Dukes said.
“I was mad when I didn’t pass my one class because I gave so much and to fall short… It was upsetting to me, but I moved on from it.”
MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill hoped Bing-Dukes would fly under the radar of other schools after he failed one of his classes at Iowa Western, because his National Letter of Intent he signed became null and void when he failed to graduate in December.
“We had him lined up to take another class and everything, and because he wasn’t able to come into school, his [National Letter of Intent] was null and void,” Stockstill said.
“[Bing-Dukes] was really out there free game to anybody and everybody, and you’re just hoping that nobody found out about him or needed a linebacker. Ole Miss lost a couple linebackers, so they offered him [a scholarship]. I guess the lure of the SEC was too much for him to turn down.”
Bing-Dukes said Ole Miss contacted him two or three weeks ago, and some felt he was attracted to Ole Miss due to its membership in the SEC.
“I wouldn’t say it was the [SEC]. I would say it was the coaching staff, and the defense [that attracted me to Ole Miss],” Bing-Dukes said.
“It wasn’t based off the conference. I was looking out for me and I wanted to make the best decision for me. I feel like [Ole Miss] is the best place for me to thrive, [excel] and move on in giving me the best options after school and after my career is over.”
Bing-Dukes was one of MTSU’s most coveted signings in 2016 due to the graduations of former linebackers Trey Wafford, Cavellis Luckett and T.T. Barber.
If things had gone according to plan, Bing-Dukes most likely would have started at linebacker for the Blue Raiders in 2016.
“We never know what happens in life. Life doesn’t go how we always plan. Who’s to say I would be starting at Middle Tennessee? You never know. When I get to Ole Miss I just want to compete for a job and help the team achieve a common goal,” Bing-Dukes said.
“Eventually, I would like to start for Ole Miss, but you never know. My mindset is to get there and work hard and be the best that I can be.”
Bing-Dukes earned JUCO All-American honors while at Iowa Western Community College.
He recorded 76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while with the Reivers.
The Blue Raiders continue their search for a linebacker to replace the departed Bing-Dukes.
Stockstill said it will be a challenge to replace Bing-Dukes’ talent, but MTSU will have to find someone to play linebacker this year.
“This has been in the works with Dukes for the past two weeks now. Ole Miss finally pulled the trigger, so we are having to start our research,” Stockstill said.
“But it’s not like we’re just finding out about this today. We’ve been looking, we’ve been evaluating, we’ve been talking to some guys right now… We have a list of guys that we’re looking at that we’re gonna recruit.”
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