was arguably the best player on the nation's top team in 2010. He's also the No. 81 recruit in the class of 2011, a 6-foot-1, 176-pound wide receiver with tremendous physical gifts.
However, the best way to describe him is probably "game-breaker", according to South Panola (Batesville, Miss.)
assistant coach Jamie Easley.
The Tigers, who finished 15-0, relied on Brassell on the infrequent occasion they needed a crucial play.
"Nick is a game-breaker. Everyone knows that. His ability to take over a game is just unreal," Easley said. "We believe it's going to carry over to the next level, and we believe he's an NFL player if he does what he's supposed to do."
Brassell's ability to impact a game was on display when South Panola took on Southhaven. The Tigers led only 21-7 at halftime, one of their closest games of the year at that point. Brassell responded by returning the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown.
"He's got that extra gear," Easley said. "When we needed something, we got him the ball."
He finished the season with 52 catches for 877 yards and 13 scores. In addition to his work on special teams, Brassell also played defensive back in crucial situations for the Tigers.
As a junior, Brassell was even more potent offensively, hauling in 62 passes for 1,191 yards and 14 scores.
Brassell's debut as a top-notch recruit began even earlier, as he earned all-state honors as a sophomore. His work the past two seasons just intensified that status and, with just a few days remaining before National Signing Day, he is one of the most heavily sought-after players in the country.
Fans of Mississippi State believed that Brassell was on his way to becoming a Bulldog, when he verbally committed in October along with teammate Kendrick Market
Almost immediately, however, there was confusion about Brassell's commitment, as he seemed to decommit and then recommit in a 24-hour span.
Since then, it has become clear that Brassell is no longer committed to attend Mississippi State. In fact, that's far from the case, as Ole Miss and Alabama appear to be neck and neck to land his services, with Mississippi State on the outside looking in.
Also on the scene is Southern Miss. Brassell took a trip there and enjoyed his visit. Fellow Magnolia State product DeAndre Brown starred at receiver for the Golden Eagles as a freshman and sophomore, and now following his junior season, has made himself eligible for the NFL Draft.
Here's MaxPreps' take on Brassell's unpredictable recruitment, and the odds on where he'll end up next fall:Ole Miss (50 percent):
Ole Miss seems like the probable destination for Brassell. South Panola has sent players to colleges across the Southeast, but Oxford sits just 25 miles east of Batesville. The Rebels are the team out in front, at least right now.Alabama (40 percent):
Alabama has Ole Miss in its sights, and it's closing ground at a rapid pace. Nick Saban has proven he's difficult to beat on the recruiting trail, so Brassell raising a Crimson Tide cap on Wednesday would be a shock to no one.Mississippi State (5 percent):
The Bulldogs may appear to be out of the running, but Brassell has clearly been interested in them in the past. Southern Miss (5 percent):
Brassell has changed his mind quickly before. This is a long shot, but cannot be ruled out entirely.