May 9, 2008

Barrington expecting Ole Miss offer soon

Ole Miss cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn was in Jacksonville, Fla., yet again earlier this week, continuing his scouring of the Sunshine State in search of athletes who can help the Rebels get off the mat and back into the postseason.

One of Vaughn's stops came at Terry Parker High School, where the Ole Miss assistant took a good look at linebacker Sam Barrington. Ole Miss didn't offer a scholarship, and Vaughn didn't stay for practice. However, that shouldn't be read as a sign that the linebacker-poor Rebels aren't interested in Barrington. They are.

"He and I have been in touch a couple of times," Barrington said Thursday night. "He's a nice guy. He's a person I can relate to. That's important to me. He's from Tallahassee (Fla.), and he's a really good guy. If Ole Miss has a staff full of guys like Coach Vaughn, I'd be great with that."

Barrington, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder, said Vaughn told him the Rebels want him to take an official visit during the upcoming football season. That's a sign, Barrington believes, that Ole Miss is close to making a scholarship offer.

"(Vaughn) has to go through the proper evaluations," Barrington said. "Everything's OK. I like the fact that Ole Miss is a Southern school. I'm not upset that they haven't offered yet. I understand the recruiting process. It takes time to develop relationships."

When and if Ole Miss offers Barrington, the Rebels will join a growing list of suitors. Florida Atlantic, Arkansas, Clemson, Illinois, Central Florida, Purdue and Maryland have offered, and like Ole Miss, South Carolina has indicated it's close to presenting an offer as well.

"Illinois is standing out right now," Barrington said. "Arkansas has stepped in the picture, too. That's a big deal for me. That's the kind of atmosphere that's appealing to me."

Barrington, who recorded 104 total tackles as a junior, has drawn some attention as a running back prospect as well. He backs up his younger brother, Kwame, for Terry Parker.

"I can out-run guys," Barrington said. "I'm an athlete. I like to ball out. I've told the coaches recruiting me at running back, 'Coach, I'm a linebacker. I'm a defensive player.'"

Barrington is also telling coaches that he's in no hurry to make a decision. He plans to make five official visits, spreading them out among different regions of the country if possible, looking "for a stable place, a place where I can get better. I'm looking for tradition and a place where I can fit in and get comfortable from the first day I'm there.

"The recruiting process is overwhelming, but I don't want to get too wrapped up in it. I know I have to take care of the big priorities first -- like playing."

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