September 11, 2008

Four Miami prospects may visit Ole Miss

Miami's Gulliver Prep is loaded with talent that includes at least five Division I prospects and Ole Miss has been recruiting all five since last spring.

It appears that the Rebel staff's hard will is paying dividends - that and a solid television appearance in a near upset win over Wake Forest - as at least three, perhaps four, of the five prospects may take officials visits to Ole Miss this fall.

The five prospects are Frank Crawford, Frank Telfort, [/db]Artice Kellam[/db], Conner Vernon, and [/db]Darian Mallory[/db]. The Rebels have offered all except Mallory.

On Tuesday, Crawford named Ole Miss in his top five and on Wednesday, Mallory gave an update on his three teammates who are interested in Ole Miss.

"Me, Artice, Frankie and Vernon are setting up a December visit to Ole Miss," Mallory said. "We wanted to come up for the homecoming game (against South Carolina on Oct. 4), but some of us have to take the SAT on that date. We're coming for sure in December, but we might come earlier, like for the Auburn game.

While the visits by Crawford, Kellam and Mallory aren't necessarily a big surprise based on their previous interviews, the addition of Vernon would be.

Vernon was headed to Ole Miss in mid-July after visiting Duke and Wake Forest, then camping at Auburn before he suddenly cancelled the visit. He committed a few days later to Duke.

Mallory said he wasn't exactly sure of Vernon's situation.

"I'm not sure if he's going up just to be going or if he's really interested in Ole Miss," Mallory said. "He did tell me that he wants to go check it out."

Vernon didn't return calls to his cell phone on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Crawford said in a separate interview on Tuesday that the Rebels are in his top five, but that he'll wait until he takes his official visits before making a decision. His other top teams, in addition to Ole Miss, are Alabama, Florida State, Minnesota, and South Florida.

While Crawford's decision is months away, the same may not be true of Kellam.

"I think he's really close to committing to Ole Miss," Mallory said. "I mean, that's all he talks about. He even sent the coaches a text message during the Wake Forest game. That's funny because he didn't know the game was on television, and when I saw it was on, I called him and said 'hey man, you're missing the Ole Miss game'. He was so excited. I think he's real close. He just loves Ole Miss."

The performance of the Rebels on the road against a nationally ranked team wasn't lost on Mallory either.

"That's a real good team," Mallory said. "No doubt, they were the better team and should have won that game. I really liked what I saw with Ole Miss."

Crawford, Kellam, Mallory and Vernon often congregate at lunch at their high school, and thanks to Kellam, Ole Miss is often the center of the discussion.

"I mean, that's all Artice talks about - Ole Miss," Mallory said. "I told him Ole Miss was going to be real good. He thinks the same thing. We've all talked about the possibility of going to Ole Miss and how we could help that team win really big. We also think that if we go to different programs, we're really going to miss one another."

Mallory, a 5-foot-8, 175 pound prospect with impressive 4.38 speed rushed for over 800 yards on just 80 carries last year with 11 touchdowns despite playing in only six games.

He is listed as an athlete as a college prospect and has played wide receiver, running back and punt/kick returner for his high school team. He also has some experience at quarterback.

"I played quarterback in the tenth grade and threw three touchdown passes," he said. "I threw for 300 yards last year. They like to use me for deep throws because I have a strong arm."

Mallory has picked up offers from Iowa, Rutgers, UCF, and Florida International since last summer and lists Ole Miss as his favorite school yet to offer.

Telfort, a four-star outside linebacker, appears to be the only Gulliver Prep prospect that the Rebels are not in on - as he recently named his top six, which did not include Ole Miss.

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