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June 15, 2009Miami (Gulliver Prep HS) quarterback Michael Strauss has made it no secret - he has long coveted an Ole Miss offer.
So far, that offer has been elusive - in part because Ole Miss - with a three-scholarship reduction based on an academic performance review - is down to 22 scholarships for next February and will likely re-sign four gray shirts (delayed enrollments from the 2009 class) which will take a big chunk of those.
Strauss visited Ole Miss to observe practice earlier this spring and was back on campus last week to participate in the Rebels' summer camp.
"I just came up for the one day to throw for the coaches," Strauss said on Sunday while attending Miami's camp. "They had wanted me to come up and throw, so I did that for them."
Strauss thinks he did enough at the camp to win an offer, but that is yet to be decided with Ole Miss coaches still in the evaluation phase for the one quarterback they'll likely sign.
"I thought I did pretty good," Strauss said. "There were a lot of good quarterbacks in camp and it was just good to go out and compete."
"The coaches are waiting to see what they are going to do (with the quarterback situation)," he continued. "The coaches said I'm their top one. I don't know what I've got to do (to get an offer)."
Strauss may be the Rebels' top pro-style quarterback, but their top dual-threat quarterback may be Memphis athlete Barry Brunetti, the top dual-threat quarterback nationally, as ranked by Rivals.com.
Brunetti, who is about three inches shorter than the 6-foot-3, 208 pound Strauss - but has 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash - reportedly wooed the Ole Miss coaching staff last week in camp.
It may be turning into a dilemma for the staff - to either take the bigger Strauss or go with the athletic Brunetti, who named West Virginia his favorite this weekend, but that likely would change if the Rebels offered.
Brunetti also offers the benefit of establishing a presence in Memphis, where Alabama, LSU, and Tennessee are all recruiting prospects hard, and Brunetti might be able to impact the decision of other recruits in the area if he should commit to Ole Miss.
It's an interesting situation, and when Ole Miss lost its top target last summer - Drew Allen, who signed with Oklahoma - the staff decided to play the waiting game all the way into January when Raymond Cotton, a four-star quarterback committed to Auburn, became available.
Meanwhile, Strauss said in an earlier interview that the lack of an Ole Miss offer after working out in Oxford would likely put him in a situation of pursuing other options.
He has offers from Tulane and several other non-BCS schools, but has been auditioning himself across the country, including this week at Miami. He also camped at Tennessee and Alabama and has plans to camp at Rutgers, UPenn, and Troy in the coming days.
Whether he gets an Ole Miss offer or not, he called the camp under Rebel quarterbacks coach Kent Austin beneficial.
"He really gave some good tips, particularly on the little things and how he likes the ball delivered." Strauss said. "Those were some things that will help me out this fall."
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