April 23, 2008

Rebels pick up second commitment

Kent Austin popped in the videotape of Morristown, Tenn., linebacker DeMarcus Knight and within seconds was furiously punching phone numbers.

The Ole Miss offensive coordinator was seeking more information and some confirmation that his eyes had not fooled him.

They hadn't. Instead, Hamblen East High School coach Dwayne Hatcher confirmed that the No. 36 that had popped out on Austin's video screen was indeed an uncommitted, 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker who hunts running backs much like a cheetah hunts an antelope.

"Put him on a track and he runs about a 4.6-second 40-yard dash," Hatcher said Wednesday morning. "Put him in pads on grass and let him see a running back and I promise you, he's the first one there every time."

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt invited Knight down to Oxford for the Rebels' Grove Bowl game earlier this month and let Knight know he had a place for him at Ole Miss.

"He just went down there and liked it and committed," Hatcher said.

Knight becomes Ole Miss' second commitment for the 2009 signing class, joining Jackson, Miss., offensive tackle Emmanuel McCray.

"I know what football players look like in that part of the country and he definitely fits that bill," Hatcher said. "That's what they liked about him. They loved his closing speed to the football."

Hatcher said Knight will get "a lot of attention now that Ole Miss has discovered him." However, Hatcher said he expects Knight to honor his commitment, despite strong recent attention from Tennessee and others.

"I'm encouraging him to (honor his Ole Miss commitment)," Hatcher said. "I told him that when you give your word, you stick to it."

RebelSports.net will have an interview with Knight later this afternoon. Stay tuned for more information regarding the Rebels' second commitment of the spring.

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