May 12, 2008

Rebels still in game for LSU commitment

Willie Ferrell is verbally committed to LSU.

That hasn't changed. He's not married to Les Miles and the Tigers just yet, however. And like any eligible bachelor whose mind isn't completely made up, Ferrell is looking around.

"Anything can happen," Ferrell said Sunday night.

That glimmer of hope is all several schools need to keep plugging away in the race for the services of the 6-foot-2, 222-pound four-star linebacker from Tallahassee, Fla. Multiple programs _ including Ole Miss, Minnesota, Auburn, South Carolina, South Florida, Central Florida, Florida State, Illinois and Iowa _ have offered and are actively recruiting Ferrell.

Ole Miss has a family connection. The Rebels' recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach, Chris Vaughn, was a cousin of Ferrell's late father, who died 15 years ago from complications from a brain tumor. Prior to the recruiting process, Ferrell and Vaughn knew of each other but they didn't have a personal relationship. That has changed.

"It's good," Ferrell said. "It's strong, like a cousin relationship, I guess. We talk a lot about a lot of stuff."

Another possible Rebel tie is Ferrell's FAMU High teammate, defensive end Alex Williams, who also has an Ole Miss offer. Williams, who is looking for a school that will let him play football and basketball at the collegiate level, is giving Ole Miss strong consideration thanks in part to the fact that his brother, Boo Williams, played for Rebel head coach Houston Nutt at Arkansas in 1999 and 2000.

"(Williams) is one of my real good friends," Ferrell said, laughing. "We get in trouble together because we both like to mess with our coaches."

Ferrell said he will definitely attend several camps this summer, meaning he'll be looking at schools other than LSU.

"My mom wants me to look around," Ferrell said, indicating one camp he definitely wants to attend is Auburn's. "I know I'm going to camps. I'm not locking myself to one school and out of other schools. Anything can happen. I know that for a fact. That's the dead honest truth."

Asked if that meant Ole Miss, Auburn and other schools' fans should consider their respective schools still in the mix to land his signature in February, Ferrell answered affirmatively and forcefully.

"That's the truth, and the truth won't hurt anybody," Ferrell said. "If it does, that's their problem."

Ferrell, who describes his playing style as "determined," said one major factor is going to be early playing time.

"I don't want to go somewhere and sit on the bench," Ferrell said, adding that he believes LSU offers a chance to play immediately. "I want to play, at least big a part of the rotation, early."

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