February 11, 2010

Pinkston building familiar bonds with Ole Miss coaches

Todd Pinkston knows Tyrone and Derrick Nix well.

Pinkston's younger brother, Josh Pinkston, is building those relationships now.

The elder Pinkston played with Derrick Nix at Southern Mississippi while Tyrone Nix was working on the Golden Eagles' staff. Todd Pinkston eventually had a five-year career in the NFL, including a Super Bowl appearance with the Philadelphia Eagles, before injuries forced him out of the game.

Years later, Tyrone Nix is Ole Miss' assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, Derrick Nix is the Rebels' running backs coach and the younger Pinkston is one of the program's top wide receiver targets.

"Now I have a relationship with them," Josh Pinkston said. "They're two cool coaches to hang around and learn from. They always give me encouraging words."

The group, sans Todd Pinkston, got a chance to build some bonds in Oxford recently at Ole Miss' first junior day for the class of 2011.

"It was pretty good," said Pinkston, who has offers from Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Mississippi State. "They said I'd fit in pretty good. They said they want to pick up four receivers coming out of next year if everything goes right.

"I like how they have a running attack and they pass. You never know what they'll do."

Pinkston, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Forest, Miss., is also picking up strong interest from Michigan, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Clemson. He'll be in Starkville Saturday for the Bulldogs' junior day, and to this point, everyone has a shot at his signature.

"(Mississippi State) Coach (Dan) Mullen has done a very good job with his program," Pinkston said, adding that he has no timetable for a decision. "They're trying to rebuild. They're recruiting me hard."

Pinkston had more than 1,000 yards receiving last season, including 14 touchdown catches. He has work to do academically, as he said earlier this week that he made a 15 on his first try on the ACT to go with a 2.25 core grade-point average.

Pinkston also isn't satisfied with his play on the field. Although he's widely considered one of the top handful of prospects in Mississippi, Pinkston sees plenty of room for improvement.

"It's not where I want to be," Pinkston said. "There are things I really want to improve on. I want to work on my speed and I want to get better as an all-around player."

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