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July 30, 2008Ole Miss is in the market for a center for the 2009 signing class and the list of candidates consist of several names, but one more prospect added his name to the list with a solid showing at the Rebels' senior "Elite' camp on Saturday.
The Rebels' center list includes Hoover, Ala. prospect Jesse Grisham, New Orleans Joey Fontana, and Newnan, Ga. athlete Raymond Beno. Beno and Grisham were also at the Rebels' camp on Saturday.
However, it was Terry, Miss. prospect Gunnar White, a 6-foot-2, 270 pound athlete, who turned in one of the fastest 40-yard dash times among offensive linemen at the camp.
"I ran a 5.3 the first time," White said on Tuesday evening. "I went back and ran it a second time and had a 5.0 flat."
That's not bad considering that White just turned 17 years old two weeks ago, and may not be through growing.
"My high school coaches saw me recently for the first time this summer and they said I look taller and look like I've grown some over the summer," White said. "I hope I'll keep growing through the year."
For now, White is in the same situation with the Rebels as are a lot of other prospects who attended the camp - the Rebels want to continue their evaluation into the fall.
"Coach (Mike) Markuson said I looked really good," White said. "He said they'd look at me during the fall and that an offer depends on my senior year."
While White may be a relatively new name to Rebel fans, he is not new to the Ole Miss staff. Rebel running backs coach Derrick Nix visited Terry High School during the spring to look at White and to talk to his coaches. White made a trip to Ole Miss' "invitation only" junior day in March and then followed that up with a second visit last week.
In addition to his trips to Ole Miss, White camped a year ago after his sophomore year at LSU and has attended camps this year at Southern Miss and Mississippi State in addition to Ole Miss.
On Thursday before Ole Miss' camp, he tripped to Hattiesburg to tour Southern Miss' facilities.
"It was really great down at Southern Miss as far as facilities," White said. "I've only been to one place that beats Southern's facilities and that's at Ole Miss."
White said he grew up a Mississippi State fan - with both parents being MSU graduates - but that his mother is pushing him to go to Ole Miss, if offered.
"My mom was absolutely blown away with Ole Miss when we came up for junior day," White said. "We've been to Ole Miss a lot and are familiar with Oxford. We both love the town and the campus."
White is currently being recruited by Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Mississippi State and is also hearing from UAB. He said that after camping at Southern Miss, he's been receiving hand written letters from the staff. He also said that communication with Mississippi State was good at first (about a year ago), but that it slacked off until after he attended camp there and won a spot on the camp's Big Man challenge (top seven offensive and defensive linemen). After his camp showing in Starkville, the Bulldogs are also showing some renewed interest.
White has played both guard and tackle in high school and has seen some limited action at center.
"Playing center is nothing that I couldn't adjust to," he said about moving to that position in college.
White currently has a 3.95 GPA and made 22 on his second ACT after scoring a 21 on his first try.
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