January 25, 2009

Four-star DT has one visit to go

Corey Gaines didn't know what to expect when he left Tallahassee, Fla., for Oxford, Miss., Friday afternoon.

When he left north Mississippi on Sunday morning, however, the four-star defensive tackle did so with a smile on his face.

"Ole Miss is my leader right now," said Gaines, who visited Arkansas last weekend. "It was way better than I expected. I just expected a little town. When I got here, there were a lot more things to do. There were a lot of student activities and things like that."

Gaines also liked what he heard during a sit-down with Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and new defensive line coach Terry Price.

"They told me if I do everything right, I can get on the field next season," Gaines said.

The 6-foot, 274-pound Gaines, ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 19 defensive tackle prospect, said he'll visit Auburn next weekend before announcing a decision on National Signing Day on Feb. 4. The Tigers will have a tall task, Gaines said, to pull him away from the Rebels.

"I just feel like I know (Ole Miss') coaching staff so well," said Gaines, who has been recruited by Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach Chris Vaughn, who is also a Tallahassee native. "Coach Nutt is real hands-on with his players and stuff. I really like that."

As for Auburn, under the direction of new coach Gene Chizik, Gaines said the Tigers will have a hard time keeping him away from Ole Miss.

"I really don't know them," Gaines said. "They're a new staff."

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