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September 9, 2008

JUCO LB impressed with Ole Miss

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Ole Miss has been in Milledgeville (Ga.) Georgia Military College Tony Straughter's top three for over two months and the only thing that has changed when it comes to Straughter is perhaps his excitement toward the Rebels after watching them play on national television last Saturday and getting a call from Tyrone Nix.

"I think that team is really going to do some big things in the future, I wouldn't be surprised to see them as a top 10 team in the next couple of years," Straughter said on Monday. "But I wouldn't write off this year either, I wouldn't be surprised to see them do some big things this year either."

Straughter, a 6-foot-1, 215 pound middle linebacker prospect, was not recruited out Madison, Fla. in 2007, but after a standout freshman year at GMC, he's picked up offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kansas State, South Carolina, and TCU.

Ole Miss appears hard after Straughter to fill needs where the team loses two linebackers, who coincidentally, were also junior college signees in Tony Fein and Ashlee Palmer. Lamar Brumfield and Patrick Trahan are also junior college signees; however both are juniors.

"Coach (Tyrone) Nix called me on Sunday," Straughter said. "He's telling me that they really need me. He said they probably would have won the game if they had me for the Wake Forest game. That made me feel really good. We just talked about the game and about me coming up for an official visit."

Straughter currently calls Ole Miss, Kansas State and West Virginia his top three, although the Mountaineers have yet to offer.

In the meantime, Straughter is eyeing an official visit to both Ole Miss and Kansas State.

"I was thinking about going on on Sept. 20 (for the Vanderbilt game), but Coach Nix told me he'd rather that I come up later in the season," Straughter said. "I may try to go to Kansas State instead, but I haven't worked out the details yet. The way it works at GMC is that the school recruiting me has to coordinate with GMC to make sure I'm available to go on the visit - that there's no major events or tests that I'll miss."

The next option for Straughter to visit Ole Miss comes when his team has a bye week on Nov. 1 - the week that Ole Miss hosts Auburn. He is also weighing the option to return to his home state on Sept. 27 to catch Ole Miss and Florida in the Swamp.

Straughter's GMC is off to a 1-1 start this season with a 43-3 win over Grand Rapids (Mich.) C.C. and a 25-13 loss at Navarro (Texas) C.C.

He said he has 15 tackles and one sack on the early season.

"That Navarro team was really talented," Straughter said. "That left side of the line was really tough. I'd say I won some battles, but they won some too."

The left side of the Navarro line Straughter refers to is manned by 6-foot-6, 330 pound Roy Watts and 6-foot-4, 325 pound Anthony Morgan, who are committed to Houston and Oklahoma State, respectively, but hold Ole Miss offers.

Straughter said he'll probably wait until after the season to make a verbal pledge, waiting to see what develops.

"I could really see myself fitting in at Ole Miss," he said. "Of course, there's other teams where I think I would fit in too. But I'm really liking what Ole Miss has to say. Coach Nix is really cool and really like how they play defense."

Straughter racked up over 40 tackles and 18 tackles-for-loss last season and supports an impressive bench press of 360 pounds.

Straughter projects as a December graduate and would have three years to play two years after playing this fall at GMC.



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