January 3, 2011
Brunetti set to hear Nutt's sales pitch
Barry Brunetti is expecting company Wednesday night.
His family's living room won't have to be rearranged. Extra seats won't be needed.
Instead, the former West Virginia quarterback is planning to welcome Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt into his Memphis home. Nutt, Brunetti said Monday afternoon, is coming alone, and that means something.
"That means they really want me if the head man is coming by himself," Brunetti said.
Nutt liked Brunetti quite a bit when the former MUS star camped at Ole Miss in the summer of 2009. At the time, Ole Miss had Jevan Snead returning for his junior season, Nathan Stanley had just completed a redshirt campaign and highly-regarded signee Raymond Cotton Jr. was set to enroll.
So the Rebels didn't offer a scholarship to Brunetti, who went on to become a Parade All-American and the No. 1 ranked dual-threat quarterback in the county as ranked by Rivals.com. Had the Rebels offered, Brunetti said, they would have been "at the top." The fact that they didn't, however, won't hurt this time around.
"I knew they were high on the redshirt guys they had," Brunetti said. "I wasn't too mad at them."
Brunetti told the (Memphis) Commercial-Appeal last week Ole Miss was the "team to beat" for his services. However, Brunetti said Monday he has some questions for Nutt. Specifically, he wants to know how he'd fit in the Rebels' long-term plans at quarterback. Ole Miss recently signed junior college quarterback Zack Stoudt and former LSU and Northwestern (La.) State quarterback Chris Garrett announced he planned to transfer to Oxford and walk on to the Rebels' program.
"I'm going to talk more about it on Wednesday when I see (Nutt)," Brunetti said. "That's something that's been on my mind though."
Brunetti, a 6-foot, 207-pounder who appeared in four games for West Virginia this fall, said he hopes to make a decision by Sunday. He's also considering Memphis and Arkansas State. Brunetti said he plans to visit Ole Miss Thursday or Friday.
Brunetti said he believes the NCAA will grant him a hardship waiver that would allow him to play at his new school in 2011. Brunetti's mother, Elna, was involved in a car accident in September, one that prevented her from traveling to Brunetti's games at West Virginia.
"I mean, I was just kind of put in a bad situation with the football, but I liked it and everything," Brunetti told the Commercial-Appeal. "I had fun with the teammates. I loved those teammates. But I weighed the pros and cons of leaving and not leaving, and I feel like the best decision was to come back closer."
Brunetti said if his appeal is denied, he "won't be disappointed at all. It would be a redshirt year and I would use it to get better."
Brunetti accounted for more than 4,700 yards of total offense and 72 touchdowns his junior and senior seasons while leading MUS to back-to-back state titles and an undefeated campaign in 2009.
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