March 28, 2010

Rebels make move for talented in-state tight end

Malcolm Faciane can't remember the specific game, but an Ole Miss game he caught on television as a 13-year-old has left him intrigued with the Rebels ever since.

On Saturday, the 6-foot-6, 263-pound tight end from Picayune, Miss., finally made it to Oxford to check out the campus and meet the Ole Miss coaches as part of the Rebels' third junior day of the season.

Faciane is now more than intrigued. He's downright interested, and that feeling is obviously mutual.

"It went fine," Faciane said Sunday night. "It was a good impression, especially when I went to the practice field to watch them practice. I liked the tempo they have there."

Faciane, who said he also has offers from Alabama and Southern Mississippi, said he had talked to Ole Miss defensive line coach Terry Price on several occasions prior to Saturday's visit. However, his time spent with Rebel coach Houston Nutt was a first. The two, Faciane said, hit it off.

"The relationship is good," Faciane said. "We have things in common. We go to church, like competition and love football. It was a nice talk. We talked about me playing there, about how he could use somebody with my athletic ability and size. We talked about church and how he and some players go to church sometimes. That got me interested in Ole Miss. I've been raised up in the church all my life."

Faciane spent much of Saturday morning watching Ole Miss go through its first practice of the spring. Specifically, he watched the Rebels' tight ends, playing close attention to players on the current roster who could one day provide competition for immediate playing time.

"As for competition, I really don't know the names," Faciane said. "I saw (redshirt freshman Z. Mason), and he's athletic but he needs a lot of work. But by the time I got up there, he's going to be a lot better.

"At Picayune, everything is competiton. I love that. That makes me want to play harder to get a spot and keep my spot. Having competition is just going to make me play harder and try to get better every day."

LSU had been trying to get Faciane to Baton Rouge for a junior day Saturday, he said, but he had already committed to the trip to Oxford. Still, Faciane said he's expecting offers from the Tigers and Mississippi State soon. He added he's in no hurry to make a decision, though he admitted three schools are on his mind the most.

"My top three colleges ever are Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss," Faciane said. " Alabama and LSU have been my favorites since I knew about college. Ole Miss has been in the picture since I was about 13. I've been liking them from there. I really haven't done any research on them, but I'm going to do that soon."

Faciane said any pressure to remain in-state won't be a factor either way in his decision.

"It's not just about football," Faciane said. "It's about education, too. I want to have something to back it up. I want to see if they have a good football program, but I want to see if they have a good academic program, too.

"I'm going to wait. Right now, what we're going to do is wait until we get all our options and then we're going to pray on it."

Faciane said he had seven receptions for 14.3 yards per catch and one touchdown as a junior.

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