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December 5, 2008Ole Miss landed one of its top wide receiver targets on Friday when Oxford's Montez Phillips switched his commitment from Mississippi State to the Rebels.
"I just committed an hour ago," Phillips said after getting out of school on Friday. "I've been thinking about switching for three or four weeks and when (Mississippi State) fired coach (Sylvester) Croom, that took the cake."
Phillips and his decision to attend college has been volatile since last summer. Phillips committed to Mississippi State in mid-July, only to say the next day that he'd made his decision too early. While it was thought that he favored Ole Miss, Phillips committed again to State in early August. The latter commitment came on the heels of attending Ole Miss' senior camp, where he seemed at home with Rebel wide receiver coach Ron Dickerson, Jr.
Even after committing to Mississippi State, Phillips could be seen at many of Ole Miss' home games, most recently at the Egg Bowl where the Rebels downed State 45-0.
"I talked with coach (Houston) Nutt and coach (Mike) Markuson when I committed," Phillips said. "They were really happy and excited."
Phillips said his main reason for picking Ole Miss was that he really liked the coaches and the type of offense that Ole Miss runs as well as being able to stay close to home.
He said he's unsure exactly how he'll fit into the Ole Miss offense.
"I think I could back up Dexter (McCluster) and run the Wild Rebel formation some and also play wide receiver," Phillips said. "I really haven't played wide receiver except in pick up games around home since my sophomore year, so I can't tell you what kind of receiver I'll be at Ole Miss."
He also said that there has been some talk of him getting a look at safety.
Next up for Phillips is a trip to Mobile on Monday where he'll begin preparations for the Mississippi - Alabama All-Star game which will be played next weekend.
With Phillips making his third verbal pledge (twice to Mississippi State and once to Ole Miss), the biggest question might be if the commitment to Ole Miss ends his recruitment.
"I think so," Phillips said. "Right now I don't think I'll take any more visits except the one to Ole Miss and I haven't set that up yet. I just want to concentrate now on the All-Star game and when I get back from that, I want to start working out for baseball. I plan on attending a baseball workout where there will be some major league scouts. I don't know if I'm a baseball prospect or not."
Phillips also hasn't given any consideration to enrolling in summer school to get an early jump on working out with Rebel quarterbacks and going through the weight program.
"To be honest, I haven't even thought about that yet," he said. "I just want to concentrate on baseball and getting my classes in order."
He said he made a 17 on his ACT and will re-take it in February to attempt to improve that score and is not sure of his current GPA, but said he normally makes mostly B's and C's.
Phillips is currently Ole Miss' 17th commitment. The Rebels are expected to sign at least 25 prospects in February.
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