November 24, 2008
Rebels closing in on JUCO commitment
Two years ago, Logan Clair was a relatively inexperienced high school offensive lineman with no real interest from anyone at the college level.
Two years later, the big offensive tackle is just days away from a Southeastern Conference offer and possibly less than two months away from signing with a program that will likely be playing Friday to wrap up a spot in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
Clair, a 6-foot-5, 305-pounder from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, will visit Ole Miss officially this weekend, and if things go according to plan, he just might be enrolled in classes in Oxford in January.
"I think I'm flying down there Thursday night or Friday morning," Clair said. "I'm going to stay in the hotel with the team the night before the game and then head to the game and watch the game and stuff and just hang out.
"I'll be looking at the team, the traditions they do, how they do stuff during practice and to get pumped up for the games. I'll probably take a tour of the school and stuff and see if I like it, which I probably will."
The 25th-ranked Rebels entertain Mississippi State in the annual Egg Bowl game Friday morning at 11:30 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The game will be Outland Trophy finalist Michael Oher's final home game, and Ole Miss will have three potential replacements in town. The Rebels will entertain Clair, Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College offensive tackle James Carpenter and Navarro (Texas) Junior College offensive tackle Roy Watts.
"Ole Miss started recruiting me last spring," Clair said. "I got my first call at the end of our spring game, near the last week of school last year.
"(Ole Miss offensive line) Coach (Mike) Markuson is always saying that he loves how I look and he loves how I play," Clair said. "He thinks I'm a good fit there and that the main goal is to be a tough guy. That's what he wants in an offensive linemen. He wants them to be hard-nosed, especially in the SEC."
It's a transition that those who have been around Clair in recent years believe he can make.
"He's a late bloomer," Northeast Oklahoma A&M offensive line coach Donnie Bigby said. "He's very athletic. He's just starting to get good. He's gotten better as a junior college player and he'll be an even better player for Ole Miss."
Clair has offers from North Texas and Western Michigan, but he expects to receive an offer from Ole Miss this weekend. If he gets it, the Rebels should expect a commitment in short order.
"(Markuson) actually told me that he was going to offer me when I go down there this weekend, so that's what he said," Clair said. "So we'll see what happens. That would be hard to turn down, and I don't think I will.
"It's a big transformation, especially from Mustang High School," Clair said. "When I played at Mustang, we were all pass. That's all we did. We were like Texas Tech. Then I go to NEO and the coaches pretty much teach me how to run block. Coach Markuson said I'm exactly what he's looking for, but I think it's a big change and I'll get used to it and I think I'll love it."
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