January 8, 2009

Attention finally comes for fast-rising OT

John Sullen will entertain Ole Miss offensive line coach Mike Markuson in his home Thursday night.

"I like him," Sullen said Wednesday night. "He's been straight-forward and everything. I could see myself playing for him."

But will Sullen get that chance? That's the key question, one that figures to be addressed in the next couple of weeks.

Sullen, a 6-foot-5, 338-pound offensive tackle from Auburn, Ala., has lined up an official visit to Ole Miss on Jan. 16. The three-star prospect, as ranked by Rivals.com, doesn't have an offer from the Rebels yet, but he's confident one could be forthcoming.

"Basically, they've been talking about taking an official visit down there and possibly an offer," Sullen said. "Coach Markuson was saying that they're trying to decide if they want to take another center-type offensive lineman or a guard-tackle. I feel like they're going to offer soon."

And if that offer comes, the Rebels could be tough to beat.

"I was raised watching SEC football," Sullen said. "They'd be pretty high on my list. What I like about the program is Houston Nutt is a great coach. It's an up and coming program and I wouldn't mind being a part of it."

Sullen has scholarship offers from Memphis, UAB, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Tulane, Jackson State and Jacksonville State. Along with Ole Miss, SEC West members Auburn and Mississippi State are kicking the tires, so to speak.

"The new staff (at Auburn) likes me a lot," Sullen said. "I've been in contact with them lately a lot. I'm kind of expecting an offer from them also."

Asked if an Auburn offer would be an end-game in his recruiting, Sullen answered in the negative.

"I'm not just going to base my decision upon where I live," Sullen said. "Education (Sullen plans to major in mechanical engineering) is the most important thing. Then playing time, but I feel if I go in and work hard enough, I'll play regardless."

Sullen was under the radar a bit until he had a strong week at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in Mobile, Ala., last month. Since then, the calls, attention _ and possibly the offers _ have started to pop.

"I'm not sure what took the recruiting process so long to pick up the way it has," Sullen said.

Sullen is ranked as the No. 27 prospect in the state of Alabama and the No. 44 offensive guard prospect in the country by Rivals.com.

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