June 10, 2008

Rebels after former Baylor signee

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt has said that he'll look to Florida for athletes and to Texas for lineman when it comes to his recruiting strategy.

Four months into the 2009 recruiting season, Nutt is doing just that. He's offered a host of athletes - wide receivers, defensive backs, and all-purpose backs from Florida - and he's looking to Texas for linemen.

The Rebels have long been interested in former Texas signee Roy Watts, who left the Longhorns after a redshirt year in 2006 and now is headed into his second season at Navarro C.C. in Corsicana, Texas.

While evaluating Watts earlier this spring, offensive line coach Mike Markuson ran upon another offensive line prospect, former Baylor signee Anthony Morgan, a 6-foot-4, 325 offensive guard who plays next to Watts on the left side of the Navarro line.

"He (Markuson) came down at the beginning of spring practice and offered me right after the practice," Morgan said Monday evening.

Morgan, rated a three-star prospect out of Lancaster High School in 2007, picked Baylor over offers from Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Texas A&M. He also had an offer from the previous staff at Ole Miss coming out of high school.

While Watts qualified and enrolled at Texas, Morgan missed making his required SAT score and enrolled in Navarro.

"Basically, the same schools are recruiting me that recruited me out of high school," he said.

Morgan has offers from Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Tulsa in addition to Ole Miss.

Like Watts, Morgan has a connection now at Ole Miss in the form of former Navarro tight end Gerald Harris. Harris signed with Ole Miss last December and enrolled in January and came out at the top of the Rebels' depth chart at his position.

"I talked to Gerald about two weeks ago," Morgan said. "He's letting me know that it's a cool place at Ole Miss."

The next step for the Rebels is getting the pair on campus for a visit, something that may not be so easy to do with gas prices going for $4 a gallon and a distance of almost 600 miles separating the duo in Texas from Oxford.

Morgan said he'd like take an official visit - one where most expenses are paid by the host school - this summer; however, such visits aren't permitted until Sept. 1.

Morgan's concern is that he'd like to visit all the schools that have offered, which will be difficult once his season begins on Aug. 30. His team's only open date is the week of Sept. 13 and depending on how far Navarro goes in the playoffs beginning in early November, he could be pressed to get in his five allotted visits before the early signing period in mid-December.

Both Morgan and Watts say they will graduate in December.

However, Morgan didn't discount the possibility of taking an unofficial visit.

"Coach Markuson has been after us to come up," he said. We may try to get up there sometime in July.

Morgan said he's wide open at this point, and wants to make as many visits as he can before deciding where he'll continue his college career.





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