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December 10, 2008One of the most impressive kickers in the South is Jackson (Jackson Academy), Miss. kicker Andrew Ritter.
Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino obviously agrees, having offered a scholarship to Ritter after an in-home visit earlier this week.
It was the big offer that Ritter has been waiting for - he had offers from Army, Northwestern State, and Southern Miss - but not one from an SEC school.
However, Ritter does have an offer of sorts from Ole Miss.
"They have said that right now, I'd walk on, pay for my freshman year and then be on scholarship," Ritter said. "They've said a scholarship could open for me but they said right now, that's all they can offer me."
It's an offer that wasn't overly appealing to Ritter.
"I know that it's a numbers game with Ole Miss," Ritter said on Tuesday.
The numbers game, however, hasn't reduced Ole Miss' efforts in recruiting the prep standout.
"Coach (James) Shibest called today (Tuesday)," Ritter said. "Ole Miss is keeping touch and is still recruiting me. We had a good (in-home) visit last week."
Ritter's situation with the Arkansas offer coming into play begs a couple of questions - one, is he going to jump at the Arkansas offer, and two, if Ole Miss countered with an offer, would he jump on that offer?
"Arkansas hasn't put a timeline on me and they aren't pressuring me to commit," Ritter said. "In fact, they told me to take my time."
And if Ole Miss counter offered?
"I don't want to jump into something," Ritter said. "This is the biggest decision of my line, or at least one of the biggest decisions so far. If Ole Miss offers, that would be great. I'm not set on Ole Miss by any means. I still plan on taking my visits."
Ritter, a 6-foot-4, 205 pound prospect who can kick off, place kick, and punt, attended several Ole Miss games during the regular season, but feels those trips weren't sufficient for him to make a decision should Ole Miss offer him to be part of the 2009 signing class.
"There's lots of things that goes on with a program that you don't see on game day," Ritter said. "I want to take my visits where I have time to see things behind the scenes and talk with players and coaches and get all the information I can to make the right decision."
For now, those visits include three trips. Ritter plans to trip to Arkansas this week, then he'll go to Hattiesburg to visit Southern Miss on Jan. 9 and close out his official visits with a trip to Ole Miss on Jan. 16.
Rival.com ranks Ritter as the No.1 high school kicker in the state of Mississippi and the No. 14 kicker in the nation. Ritter reportedly connected on five kicks greater than 50 yards this season, including a career high of 58 yards.
Ritter maintains a 3.5 GPA and has already posted a 25 on the ACT.