July 16, 2008

Barrow plans trips, ponders commitment

Lamin Barrow loves Ole Miss' tradition.

Keep in mind that Barrow, a four-star linebacker from Marrero (John Ehret), La., isn't talking about Johnny Vaught, Charlie Connerly or even Archie Manning.

Instead, when Barrow thinks about Ole Miss' tradition, he thinks of former Rebel Patrick Willis, who was the NFL's defensive rookie of the year with the San Francisco 49ers last season.

Barrow, a 6-foot-2, 217-pounder with 4.83-second speed in the 40-yard dash who is ranked No. 8 in the country at his position by Rivals.com, will finally check out Willis' alma mater later this month when Ole Miss hosts its invitation-only camp on July 26.

"I'll be there," Barrow said. "I really like their tradition. I have always liked their linebackers. When I really first started watching college football, I fell in love with Patrick Willis and now Coach (Kim) Dameron has told me a lot of good things about it, so I'm anxious to get up there and see what's it's about. I'm just really interested in checking it out."

One of Barrow's good friends is Ole Miss freshman offensive guard Kermit Tyler, and the New Orleans native has told Barrow good things about the Rebels' program and Oxford.

Barrow has offers from Ole Miss, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama and Southern Methodist.

"I wouldn't say I have a leader, but among those schools and the other schools that are showing interest, I would say that Ole Miss is definitely one of my top schools and I'm looking forward to checking out their campus on the 26th."

Barrow said he plans to attend an LSU camp this weekend, but the home-state Tigers have no offered yet. LSU has shown interest, however, as have Michigan and Kansas State.

"I think what it boils down to (with LSU) is their numbers," Barrow said. "I can't really tell you what the deal is with that, but I'm not really concerned with that. I just want to enjoy the rest of my summer and get ready for my senior season right now."

Barrow, who is in good shape to qualify academically with a 2.6 core grade-point average and an 18 on the ACT, said he'll be looking for a school with a good academic program on his visits.

"I also want to see the coaching staff and how much they care about their players," said Barrow, who had 70 tackles in nine games as a junior.

Barrow said he doesn't anticipate an early commitment, though he said he's given the idea some thought recently and hasn't completely ruled it out.

"As time goes on, I find myself thinking that I wouldn't mind looking at the schools I have offers from, thinking about it and getting it out of the way," Barrow said. "I don't know for sure. I can't tell you. If it feels right, I'll do it. Other than that, I'm going to come back and enjoy my senior year."

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