April 1, 2008

Randle set for mid-week visit to Ole Miss

The schedule just keeps getting busier for Rueben Randle.

The five-star wide receiver from Bastrop, La., ranked No. 7 on the Rivals.com Rivals 100 list of prospects for the 2009 signing class, won't be making any trips for junior days this weekend. Not only is the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder working out in the weight room and getting ready to make the move to quarterback in time for his senior season, but he's got a track meet and a date to the prom.

Randle had planned to go to Ole Miss' third junior day this weekend. Instead, he and Bastrop coach Brad Bradshaw will head to Oxford to check out the Rebels sometime next week, likely on Wednesday.

"He's been there before," Bradshaw said. "(Ole Miss wide receiver/cornerback/return specialist) Marshay Green plays there, so they've got a shot. He doesn't know the new staff there as well. They haven't been recruiting him as long as some others."

Randle said that won't necessarily matter. He's been in contact with Ole Miss wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson Jr., who joined Nutt's staff after spending the last couple of years at Louisiana-Monroe, which is just some 20-25 minutes away from Bastrop.

"Coach Dickerson is a real nice guy," Randle said. "He seems cool."

Randle said he's narrowed his list of prospective college suitors to some 15-20 programs, a list that includes Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Stanford, Louisiana Tech, TCU and more.

"I'm just looking for a good place where I can come in and play early, where they have a nice academic situation and where I feel comfortable," Randle said. "I'm still open to everybody. I'm just looking for the right place."

Randle said Ole Miss is still "at the top," likely in a group that includes Miami and three schools that he has visited for junior days -- LSU, Alabama and Mississippi State.

"I liked all of them," Randle said, adding that of the three programs he's visited recently, Mississippi State offers him the most immediate playing time. "They were all good places. I had fun and got to know the coaches at all three."
Randle said LSU, which got a commitment in late February from his high school teammate, defensive tackle Josh Downs, asked him recently when he thought he'd be ready to make a decision.

"I don't know when," Randle said. "I'll know when the time comes."

One of the people he's consulted in the decision-making process is Green, who told him during a recent return home to Bastrop to "go wherever you feel comfortable. He tells me it's nice at Ole Miss, though. He just wanted to give me a heads-up."

Randle, a deep-threat receiver who has developed a Randy Moss-like reputation for attacking the football in the air, caught 55 passes for 1,058 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Class 4A state champions last season, adding three punt returns for touchdowns. The Rams' quarterback last season was Louisiana Mr. Football honoree and Ole Miss signee Randall Mackey. With Mackey gone (likely to a prep school or a junior college before he eventually matriculates to Oxford), Randle is going to have to leave the route-running to someone else for a season while he gets under center.

Bradshaw said Bastrop will probably run quite a bit with Randle under center, including several plays designed for Randle to keep the ball and use his athleticism.

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