June 4, 2010

Four-star OL picks up first SEC offer

Ethan Hutson knows why some of the programs he's most interested in haven't yet offered.

The center from Destrehan, La., knows he was too heavy last fall, and he's cognizant of the fact that the extra weight slowed him down noticeably.

So Hutson did something about it. He eliminated bread from his diet and started pounding the pavement. Twenty lost pounds later, Hutson is quicker, and coaches have noticed it when evaluating his spring film.

Now Hutson, a four-star prospect who was named to the initial Rivals250 earlier this week, is hoping the Ole Miss coaches notice at the Rebels' elite camp, one that begins Saturday afternoon in Oxford.

"I'd like to hope so, but I don't know," said Hutson, who will arrive in Oxford with offers from Colorado, Tulsa, Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe in his proverbial pocket. "It'd be great. It's a great SEC school with great football and in a great town. The facilities are great and the coaches are great."

Hutson has known many of the Ole Miss coaches for years. His father, former Oklahoma All-American and current Tulane offensive line coach Mark Hutson, worked on Houston Nutt's staff at Murray State, Boise State and Arkansas before leaving for a position at Tulsa. Hutson said his family has maintained relationships with Houston and Danny Nutt as well as Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator Mike Markuson and safeties coach Kim Dameron over the years.

Hutson said his father's presence on the coaching staff at Tulane would "definitely not" impact his decision. Mark Hutson, Ethan said, "wants me to go to where the best place for me is. We've had that discussion. Whatever is the best opportunity for me is where I'll go."

Whether Ole Miss is that place remains to be seen, but Hutson hopes he can earn that option.

"I'm guessing they want to see how much quicker I am since I've lost the weight," said Hutson, who said he's down to 280 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame.

Hutson said he's hoping to make a decision regarding his college future by the end of the summer "if the right school presents itself. If it's a good opportunity, I'd commit maybe. An Ole Miss offer would be huge. It'd rank high."

BIG WEEKEND FOR BROWN: Newport (Newport Senior), Ark., athlete Artez Brown has two favorites. He'll get a chance to do some real comparing and contrasting this weekend when he camps at Ole Miss Saturday and Arkansas Sunday.

Brown, who has offers from the Rebels, Razorbacks, Kansas, Tulsa, Memphis, Baylor and Southern Arkansas, said the Hogs have a lead over Ole Miss going into the weekend.

"This weekend, I'll be bringing my mom to visit," Brown said Friday morning. "I've already brought her to Fayetteville, and she liked it a lot. She'll probably be moving from Newport to wherever I go. (Arkansas assistant) Coach (Tim) Horton has told her they'll help her locate a house and get set. I haven't talked to the Ole Miss coaches about that."

Brown, who said he doesn't plan to make a final decision until after his senior season, said what he likes most about Arkansas is the program's emphasis on success in the classroom.

"It's not just about football," Brown said. "Mississippi is a nice environment. They're about the same."

Brown, a 5-foot-11, 165-pounder with 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash, said he's still not sure which side of the football he'll play at the college level. He's hoping this weekend helps with that decision as well.

"I'm looking forward to going up against some of the guys at camp," Brown said. "I'm pretty sure I'm going to be playing defense at Arkansas' camp. Last year, I worked on defense at (Ole Miss') camp. This year, I'll probably be working mostly on offense.

"I'll play either one. I like offense better, but some think I have a better future on defense and I kind of agree. But I love offense though. I love running the ball."

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