June 29, 2009

Rebels in fight with SEC West rivals for JUCO DT

Ole Miss lost Peria Jerry from its Cotton Bowl championship team last season.

The Rebels will lose Greg Hardy, Marcus Tillman, Lawon Scott and Emmanuel Stephens after the upcoming season.

In other words, Houston Nutt and Co. are going to need to restock the defensive line at Ole Miss, both with young players who can be groomed and with a couple of junior college players who can step in and play immediately in 2010.

Two of Ole Miss' top targets in that latter category are Maryland natives who are now teammates at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Rebels seem to be in good shape for defensive end Wayne Dorsey and are in decent shape for defensive tackle James Carmon.

"Ole Miss is in my top five," Carmon said Sunday night, hours after returning to Perkinston, Miss., from his home in Baltimore. "Ole Miss is really in my top three at No. 3."

Carmon, a 6-foot-7, 370-pounder, said the Rebels trail Mississippi State and Alabama, in some order, as the calendar turns to July.

"Honestly, the one thing they have good going is they're losing a lot of defensive linemen," Carmon said. "They're looking to bring in some guys who can help immediately."

Carmon said he's heard more from the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide than he has coaches at Ole Miss, but he said the deficit the Rebels currently have can be easily overcome.

If they get in contact with me and show me they really like me and I can move in and play right away, they could move up at anytime," Carmon said.

Carmon picked up a scholarship offer from Penn State last week, and that offer added the Nittany Lions to his top five, joining Mississippi State, Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee. Carmon said Sunday he'll take unofficial visits to Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State this summer, adding that he plans to take official visits to those three schools, Ole Miss and Tennessee during the season. Carmon said he needs to pass just nine hours this fall to graduate in December and enroll at his chosen college in January.

"What's most critical is education," Carmon said. "Football is going to come, but I want something to fall back on. As far as football goes, I want a place that is stable. I don't want a handout, but I want to go somewhere I can play. I don't want to sit on anybody's bench. I don't want to redshirt or anything like that. I want to go where I can play."

Dorsey, another likely December graduate, is looking at a large group of schools, including Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee. Carmon said Dorsey's decision won't impact his.

"Me and Wayne are really cool," Carmon said. "It's really what's best for each one of us, but if we did go to the same school, that would be really good."

Carmon recorded 42 tackles as a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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