October 19, 2009

Rebels make strong move for top OL target

It's no secret that landing big, impact offensive linemen is a top priority for Ole Miss' 2010 recruiting efforts.

The Rebels will lose starting right tackle John Jerry to graduation and the NFL after this season and three other linemen who will start for Ole Miss against Arkansas on Saturday _ guards Reid Neely and Brandon Green and center Daverin Geralds _ are seniors.

The good news for Ole Miss is the Rebels appear to be in very good shape for one of the top offensive linemen on their recruiting board.

"Ole Miss is pretty high," Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy offensive tackle Terrence Hackney said Monday afternoon, adding that he's lined up an official visit to the Rebels' Oxford, Miss., campus for Dec. 4.

Hackney, a 6-foot-7, 320-pounder from Chapel Hill, N.C., was a full qualifier out of high school, meaning he can leave Hargrave in December and begin school at his college of choice in January. Hackney recently picked up an offer from East Carolina to go along with one from Ole Miss. Virginia Tech and Syracuse are also showing interest and could offer soon. However, the Rebels have made a strong impression

"I talked to (Ole Miss offensive line) Coach (Mike) Markuson and Coach (Houston) Nutt," Hackney said. "I really like them and I also really like Coach Markuson as a person. I've only talked to Coach Nutt two times, but I've talked to Coach Markuson three or four times now. I like what he's saying and what we're talking about. I just like him as a coach and a person."

Hackney, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, was not heavily recruited during his senior season in high school.

"I wasn't focusing on basketball really, but I was playing basketball too and I wasn't seriously focused on football until the end of my junior year," Hackney said. "I didn't attend any football camps or anything like that until my senior year, so that's why my name didn't get out there."

Since enrolling at Hargrave, Hackney's stock has soared. He's ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 43 prep school prospect, and Hackney has polished his skills against prospects such as former Ole Miss signee Mike Thomas, Virginia Tech commitment De'Antre Rhodes and others.

"The level of competition here is unbelievable," Hackney said. "It's going pretty good. I'm a more athletic player now that I've been at Hargrave. My basketball background really helped me with my footwork and stuff as an offensive tackle."

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