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April 26, 2008Largo, Fla. linebacker Mike Marry continues to rack up offers with three more offers recently being extended and bringing to 16 his total number of offers to date.
One person who is not surprised at all the attention is Largo head football coach Rick Rodriguez.
"He's the total package," Rodriquez said Friday afternoon. "He's aggressive and the best linebacker that I've seen since I've been here. He's got football instincts that you can't teach. He brings academics as well as all round leadership. He's a hard worker and a leader. He leads by action, not words."
The most recent offers, Marry said, came from Purdue, Boston College, and Vanderbilt over the last couple of weeks.
Marry, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, remains one of Ole Miss' top targets from the Sunshine State.
Marry called Ole Miss recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn, who recruits portions of Florida for the Rebels, while Marry was on his way to a track meet on Thursday.
"Mike was just wondering when he could start his official visits, and I said, 'let's call a coach and find out'," Rodriquez said.
Vaughn got the call, and used the opportunity to enlighten Marry about Ole Miss and encouraged him to take a visit, according to Marry.
"I'm going to visit Ole Miss," Marry said. "I would like to camp there, but I may take an unofficial visit before then."
Prospects cannot take official visits - those where travel and lodging expenses are paid by the host school - until Sept. 1.
Marry helped lead his Largo team to an undefeated season and a playoff run into the Class 5A state semi-finals state championship last fall before losing to St. Thomas Aquinas.
That performance came on the heels of 76 tackles as a sophomore despite carrying only slightly more than 160 pounds on a 6-foot-2 frame.
While tacking on an additional 50 pounds since his sophomore year, Marry's 40-yard dash time actually improved from a 4.7 to a 4.6.
Despite all the attention, Marry is still not showing his hand when it comes to favorites.
"I don't have any favorites, I'm still wide open," he said.
Rodriguez echoed that position, adding that Marry doesn't privately have any favorites.
Marry said he would like to shorten his list to a top five at some point, but hasn't set a timeline for doing that. His timeline for committing is after he makes his official visits, which likely means he won't make a decision until near signing day next February.
One thing Marry would like to see come his way is offers from the in-state big three - Florida, Florida State and Miami. However, Marry said even if he receives an offer from one or all of those three schools, it won't change anything - he'll remain open and still have no favorites.
Marry said that while he's not close friends with former Largo star Dexter McCluster, who is now entering his junior season at Ole Miss, he does have some contact with the player tabbed to run the "Wild Rebel" formation this fall.
"He came back for a visit recently and we talked," he said. "He keeps telling me he'd like to see me at Ole Miss."
Despite limited contact with coaches due to NCAA rules, Vaughn has made an impression on Marry. He laughed when asked if Vaughn was recruiting him hard and said "you can say that."
"He's pretty nice," Marry said of Vaughn. "I like them (Ole Miss staff), they're a good staff."
Marry, who supports a 3.7 GPA, recently received the results of his first SAT attempt and scored a 940.