January 16, 2009

Florida linebacker ready to pick his college home

Mike Marry hadn't taken an official visit since a trip to Iowa State in late October.

Almost three months later, the three-star linebacker from Largo, Fla., was back on the recruiting trail last weekend with an official visit to South Florida. The tour is still ongoing, as Marry is set to take a pair of official visits to the two schools that have been most commonly linked to him.

Marry will visit Duke this weekend and Ole Miss on Jan. 23. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is scheduled to visit West Virginia on Jan. 30 also, but he indicated Thursday night that a decision might come before that, especially if one of the two upcoming visits blows him away.

"I'm just kind of ready to find out where I'm going to go next year," Marry said, admitting that he's grown a bit tired of the process. "I want to see all the schools first."

As for South Florida, Marry said the visit to the Big East Conference Bulls went "pretty good. It was kind of more than I expected. I didn't know the campus was so big."

Duke, meanwhile, has been pursuing Marry for quite some time. Marry said he's had several conversations with Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe, including the head coach's one allowed in-home visit with the prospect.

"I talk to (Cutcliffe), I guess you could say, a lot," Marry said. "He seems like he's up front with you. He's a pretty nice dude."

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, meanwhile, has saved his in-home visit with Marry, presumably planning to use it shortly after Marry's visit to Oxford. That might be brilliant strategy, as Marry indicated several times Thursday night that his decision could very well be made that week.

"I like (Ole Miss) a lot," Marry said. "They said I'm at the top of their list and that I could play any one of the three linebacker positions."

When Nutt shows up in Largo, he might get a bit of celebrity treatment. No, the Rebels aren't Florida or Florida State in Largo, but Ole Miss is pretty popular in those parts these days. The Rebels knocked off eventual national champion Florida in Gainesville, won six games in a row to close the season, finished with a No. 14 national ranking and handled Texas Tech in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 2 in Dallas. One of the most compelling storylines of the Rebels' season was the emergence of all-purpose back/wide receiver Dexter McCluster, a Largo native.

"I watched the Cotton Bowl," Marry said. "I expected them to win. I know what kind of coaches and players they have. (People in Largo) are just saying the coaches there are doing a good job to come in and turn that program around in one year."

Marry, who has offers from Duke, Connecticut, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Ole Miss, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Central Florida, said all of the schools recruiting him are being patient and not pressuring him to make a decision.

He, on the other hand, is running out of patience.

"As soon as I know, I'm going to try to make it as soon as possible," Marry said.

Marry is ranked as the No. 30 inside linebacker in the country by Rivals.com.

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