July 31, 2010

Rebels try to close Hogs' lead on Louisiana lineman

Demarcus Hodge continued his summer tour of possible college destinations on Friday.

The three-star defensive tackle from Monroe (Neville), La., spent about six hours at Ole Miss, visiting with coaches and touring the school's football facilities and campus.

Hodge was glad he made the trip, as the Rebels' presentation vaulted them on his list of favorites.

"It went well," Hodge said. "It went great. I was definitely impressed."

The 6-foot-1, 300-pounder said he arrived around 12:40 p.m. Friday and packed in as much as he could before leaving a little after 6.

"I got around the coaches, the indoor practice facility, the weight room, went on a campus tour, saw the academic center, the game field, dorms, sorority houses, the Grove and visited with Coach (Houston) Nutt for a little bit," Hodge said.

Hodge really perked up when he got a chance to sit down and talk football with Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix and defensive line coach Terry Price.

"They say I'm versatile enough to play nose or the three-technique tackle," Hodge said. "They say I'd mostly play nose, and that's what I want to play. I like their scheme because it's mostly what we do in high school. I line up against the center and let me go from there. That's something I'm comfortable with."

So where does Ole Miss stand now?

"I really haven't had time to evaluate the pros and cons," Hodge said. "Right now, Arkansas would still be leading. TCU is still there, but I think once I get everything straightened out, Ole Miss would definitely be up there."

Hodge, who also has offers from Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Kansas, Missouri, Texas A&M and others, said he's still hoping to make a commitment soon, "but it might not happen. I might wait it out and take some official visits. …I'm trying to visit Mississippi State and Arkansas again before I make a decision."

Arkansas, Hodge said, could be tough to beat, though the Hogs' lead could be sliced if he decides to take some official visits this fall.

"Arkansas has a pretty good lead," Hodge said. "Out of all the places I went to visit, Arkansas was the place that felt like home as soon as I stepped on campus. Something about it just felt right."

Hodge is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 15 prospect in Louisiana and the No. 28 defensive tackle prospect in the nation.

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