December 9, 2008

TN LB talks about Ole Miss pledge

One of Ole Miss' first verbal commitments for the 2009 recruiting class was Morristown, Tenn. linebacker DeMarkus Knight and nine months after he made his verbal pledge, he remains solid with the Rebels.

Knight, a 6-foot-2, 230 pound middle linebacker prospect, was discovered by Ole Miss offensive coordinator Kent Austin during a review of prospect videos. Austin was impressed with Knight's video and wasted no time in recruiting him as the Rebels joined Virginia Tech in recruiting Knight. Knight was invited him down for the Grove Bowl last April and he committed shortly after his visit.

Knight recently passed a hurdle that should have him on track to sign with the Rebels in February and enroll next summer.

"I got my ACT results and now I can set up an official visit," Knight said on Monday evening. "I made an 18 and I plan on going to Ole Miss for my official visit sometime next month."

While it was anticipated that after Ole Miss "discovered" Knight, that several other schools would attempt to lure him away from the Rebels; however, to date, there's not been any serious attempts.

"I'm hearing a little from a few other schools," Knight said. "But I'm Ole Miss all the way."

Austin visited Knight last Friday and remains in contact with him.

"He came over and brought some information," Knight said. "He's telling me about the academics and what I can expect when it comes to dorms and academics. Stuff like that."

Knight does have one stop to make before he takes his official visit to Ole Miss.

He was selected to play this weekend in Tennessee's East-West All-Star game, which is played at Carson-Newman College, which is located in Jefferson City.

Knight is glad that he had an opportunity to play after sustaining an injury this season.

"It was my shoulder, " he said. "I missed three games, but I'm finally back to full speed now.

Despite the injury and missing three games, he finished the season with 67 tackles. As a junior, Knight had 72 tackles, three sacks and one interception and as a sophomore, Knight recorded 79 tackles, 6 1/2 quarterback sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries. His team made the state playoffs, but lost in the second round.

When Knight committed to Ole Miss, he was taking a chance on a team that had gone through four straight losing seasons and was picked by many to finish last or next to last in the SEC West Division.

"They've had really a good season, I've watched them every time they've been on TV, " Knight said. "Getting to go to the Cotton Bowl is something. But I think they can do things better."

And it's clear from talking with Knight that he figures to be a part of any improvement.

"I'm not coming down there to ride the pine," Knight said. "Coach Austin said Coach Ty Nix said he could use me in the middle and I know it can be tough during two-a-days (practices), but I'm coming to play."

Knight projects as a qualifier with the 18 on his ACT and his GPA is currently in the 2.8 range.

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