Ole Miss offers Hibbler

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 8, 2013

Ole Miss shines spotlight on NP sophomore Willie Hibbler

By Myra Bean

As most of the questions were answered about the 2013 recruiting class, minds immediately turned to the class of 2014.

But in the case of North Panola sophomore Willie Hibbler, the class of 2015.

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According to North Panola head football coach Derek King, Ole Miss recruiting coach Derek Nix met with him and asked about Hibbler. Nix met with Hibbler and invited him to meet the coaches at Ole Miss.

Hibbler, 6’6”, 208 pounds, has received a verbal offer, but NCAA regulations forbid formal offers before the second semester of the junior year, according to King.

Hibbler and his father, Eric, visited the coaches at Ole Miss and met the whole coaching staff including head coach Hugh Freeze and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner.

“They all came in one at a time and spoke with them for about 15 minutes each,” King said. “They were taking phone calls the entire time because of the time of year, but they took out the time to talk to him.”

Hibbler started during his ninth grade year as a wide receiver and punter. He started his sophomore year as wide receiver but was moved to quarterback when Martavious Butler quit and Jatavious Farmer went down with a season-ending broken leg.

Hibbler completed 55 passes for 756 yards and threw five touchdowns in seven games. He rushed for 83 yards and six touchdowns.

King said in an interview with Rebels 247.com that “He is a nightmare matchup for cornerbacks and linebackers. In our league, he’s a nightmare matchup for an end, too.”

Ole Miss is the first college to contact Hibbler.

“Coach Freeze would not do this if he did not like what he saw on film,” King said.

At the end of the season, Hibbler said he was moving back to wide receiver when Farmer returns to the quarterback position.

King laughed and said under his breathe, “Yes, he will be under center some, too.”

Offense is not the only place to see Hibbler. He handled most of the kicking duties. He had 23 kickoffs for 836 yards and punted 30 times for 1,082 yards.

Whatever the future holds for Hibbler, he told 247.com that right now he is going to concentrate on getting better as a player and on his studies.

North Panola opens the season August 23 at home against Rosa Fort.