January 21, 2008

Faircloth mulls Rebels offer after visit

Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles offensive tackle Garrett Faircloth was already familiar with the Ole Miss campus before he took an official visit there this weekend.

His sister, Erin Faircloth, is a senior softball player for the Rebels. Now, the 6-6, 260-pound two star prospect is trying to decide if he will follow in his sister's footsteps.

Faircloth's father was not able to get off work, so he and his mother couldn't make the trip, but his sister did join him on campus and went around on the tour of the school.

"She thinks it would be a good spot, but she just wants me to be happy in the end and make a good choice for myself," Faircloth said. "I've known about (Ole Miss) and been there a few times, so I know a good bit about the place. It's a comfortable place, a beautiful campus and just great overall."

Although Faircloth was familiar with the school and campus before taking this weekend's official visit, he was not as familiar with Houston Nutt and his new coaching staff. The visit gave him a chance to get better acquainted with them.

"Coach [Mike] Markuson, the offensive line coach, is who I hung out with the most," said Faircloth. "They're projecting me at left tackle. They want me to come in and be a part of [Nutt's] first recruiting class. They said that would mean a lot to them."

"I got a positive vibe from everything. The players are excited for them to be there. They're looking to change things around and to get something going. It looks like a good place in the future."

Spending time with the Ole Miss players was another aspect of the program that Faircloth had not had the opportunity to experience in depth prior to this weekend.

"My host was Billy Tapp, he's a quarterback. He showed me all around and he did a great job," Faircloth said. "We hung around with Jevan Snead and all the linemen pretty much. They've got good team chemistry going."

This weekend's official visit to Ole Miss was Faircloth's third of the recruiting process. He had previously visited Vanderbilt (Dec. 7) and Florida State (Jan. 11).

"As of right now, I am not really planning on another visit, but if something does come up and I feel the need to, I'll schedule it," he said. "I would say right now those three are my top ones and they are the main ones I'm looking at. There's no particular date [to make a decision]. It will be soon, I know that. I will start thinking things over and see what I want to do."

"All the coaches I've been dealing with are great. That's one of the main things with me - I want to have a good relationship with who's coaching me. All these schools I have good relationships with."

Florida State has offered Faircloth a gray shirt - a scholarship offer that wouldn't permit him to enroll until January 2009 while Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have offeres scholarships that would have him on campus this summer and eligible to play this fall.

In addition to the Vanderbilt and Ole Miss offers, Faircloth has an offer from Central Florida and was once committed to the Golden Knights before re-opening his commitment.

His parents reside in Brunswick, Ga. and Faircloth boards in Jacksonville, Fla. He says distance will not be a factor in his decision.

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