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October 9, 2008Ole Miss signed seven prospects originally from Georgia in its 2007 recruiting class and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker continues to recruit the Atlanta metro area while defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix recruits the state outside of the Atlanta area.
One prospect Nix has his eye on about 60 miles south of Atlanta in Macon is Westside High School linebacker prospect Julian Burnett.
Burnett, a 5-foot-10, 235 pound prospect with 4.5 speed may appear on the short side, but he packs a wallop, already recording more than 80 tackles in just six games so far this season.
"I'm hearing from coach Nix," Burnett said on Wednesday. "He calls every now and then and sends a lot of mail."
Burnett currently has offers from South Carolina, Purdue, Wake Forest and UAB. He also picked up an offer a few days ago from North Carolina State.
Burnett professes to be open to all schools with no favorites, but there are several situations going on that will impact his final decision.
He camped at Auburn last summer and showed some interest in the Tigers, but said on Wednesday that Auburn now is currently out of the equation due to their class already being filled (they have 26 verbal commitments at this time).
Also, it appears that Georgia may be close to beginning a pursuit of Burnett.
"Georgia is standing out right now," Burnett said. "Coach (John) Lilly came down and watched practice and said they might offer. It looks like they are coming on a little."
Burnett took an unofficial visit to the Alabama - Georgia game in Athens two weeks ago, which caused him to miss the Ole Miss and Florida game on television, but he was left impressed with the results and saw plenty of replays of the Rebels' upset win over the Gators.
"That's one of the reasons that Ole Miss is up there right now," Burnett said. "It (the win) caused me to look at them differently. I didn't expect them to be so competitive in the SEC, but that win over Florida shows they can be competitive with anyone."
Between Nix's calls and Ole Miss' win, the Rebels are now in good shape with Burnett for an official visit.
"I don't have a favorite or anything and haven't decided on my official visits yet, but one place I do want to check out is Ole Miss," he said. "I haven't planned any visits and don't know when I'll take the visit, but I do plan to check them out."
While the coaching staff is staying in touch with prospects and not pushing for commits in many instances, Burnett says that's not the case with Ole Miss.
"Coach Nix is doing more than just staying in touch," Burnett said. "He's really recruiting me hard. He wants me to commit and he's telling me that they really need me up at Ole Miss."
Burnett reports a GPA in the 2.8 to 2.9 range and scored 1380 on his SAT (930 on the math and verbal portions).
As a junior, Burnett amassed an impressive 164 tackles.
BONUS NOTE: Burnett said he's still 5-foot-10, but up to 230 pounds from his previously reported weight of 212 pounds. He says his best vertical leap is 36 inches and he ran a 4.5 flat forty at the Auburn camp last summer.
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