January 5, 2009

Former LSU commit plans visits

Tallahassee (FAMU HS), Fla. inside linebacker Willie Ferrell spent the last week preparing and playing in the Offensive - Defensive All-American Bowl and is now focused on recruiting, which includes taking at least three official visits before he makes a decision on where he'll pursue his college career.

Ferrell, a 6-foot-1, 220 pound three-star prospect, played in the all-star game in Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the East squad and said he had "five or six" tackles in the East's 29-3 win over the West.

"We played Friday and the individual stats don't mean a lot in a game like that," Ferrell said on Sunday evening. "They had a rotation going at all the positions and were trying to give as many players as possible a chance to play."

With the all-star game out of the way and recruiting set to soon go into a full contact period, Ferrell said he'll focus mainly on four schools in the coming weeks.

"I'm going to take official visits to Tennessee, Michigan, Ole Miss, and maybe FIU or FAMU," Ferrell said. "Those are my top schools."

Ferrell was a one-time commitment to LSU and appears to be one of Ole Miss' few remaining targets. The Rebels currently show 25 committed prospects; however, that list could change between now and signing day due to players changing their minds, academic issues - or other considerations. The Rebels are expected to sign a full class of 25 on Feb. 4 - and could perhaps oversign by three or four in anticipation of non-qualifiers or perhaps encouraging two or three players to grayshirt - delay enrollment until January 2010.

The Rebels do have one big "in" with Ferrell and that is he is cousins with Ole Miss recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn.

"I talk to coach Vaughn a lot," Ferrell said. "We're cousins, but we talk about more than just recruiting and football. He's mainly after helping guide me in helping me to make the right decision."

Ole Miss has improved its standing with several recruits after finishing the regular season with an 8-4 record and a second place finish in the SEC West - that after being picked by many experts to finish last in the division. A 47-34 beatdown of No. 8 Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl also doesn't hurt.

"Ole Miss did well in the Cotton Bowl," Ferrell said. "I didn't get to catch the game because of my game, but I caught the highlights. Their defense pretty much shut down Texas Tech. That's quite an achievement."

For now, Ferrell claims no favorites, but says he plans to be in Knoxville this coming weekend, then will follow that official visit with trips to Michigan on Jan. 16 and Ole Miss on Jan. 23.

"I like Michigan and Tennessee because they are at a rebuilding stage," he said. "I think I could go in and be help to help their program, help the team to get better."

Ole Miss is looking for help at linebacker as former JUCO transfers Ashlee Palmer and Tony Fein have completed their eligibility. The Rebels only have one true linebacker currently committed, Morristown, Tenn. inside linebacker Demarcus Knight, who has been committed since last spring.




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