January 29, 2008

Rocker lands Georgia DE

It didn't take Ellenwood, Ga. defensive end Gerald Rivers long to make a decision after taking an official visit to Ole Miss last weekend.

"I went ahead and committed to Ole Miss," Rivers said late Monday.

Rivers, a 6-foot-5, 240 pound prospect, said on Sunday that he was going to take one more visit - to North Carolina - and then make his decision, but the allure of Oxford and Ole Miss was apparently enough for him to end his recruitment on Monday.

"I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders," Ms. Terri Rivers, Gerald's mother said Tuesday morning. "It's very humbling to have so many schools recruiting Gerald, but it's a blessing that he's found everything that he's looking for at Ole Miss."

Ms. Rivers said that the SEC schools recruiting her soon are similar in terms of facilities and academic support and all the coaches recruiting Rivers have been nice, but it was a combination of factors that led to her son to choose Ole Miss.

That included Rebels' defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt.

"I haven't met coach Nutt personally, but we have talked on the phone several times," Ms. Rivers said. "I have met coach Rocker and he's very impressive and coach Nutt's reputation as an outstanding coach is well known. I'm looking forward to meeting him in person on Thursday."

Ms. Rivers said Gerald has contacted the other coaches who were recruiting her son to let them know that he's made a decision to sign with Ole Miss on national signing day. She added that he was unable to get in contact with North Carolina to inform them and would do that later today.

She said that one school, who she declined to name, said they would continue to recruit her son.

Ms. Rivers said she was initially concerned about her son going to Mississippi but any reservations have been put to rest.

"Gerald called on Saturday and said, 'Mom, I absolutely love this place,'" Ms. Rivers said. "I was very impressed from talking with Gerald about the academic support, the training program that will be designed to prevent injuries, and the facilities."

She said she was also impressed with the diversity on the Ole Miss staff, which has five African-American coaches.

Ms. Rivers, who is a registered nurse, currently works weekends and was unable to make the visit to Oxford last weekend with Gerald.

How will that change now that her son will be playing on Saturdays?

"I'll change jobs," Ms. Rivers said. "Gerald had the job of watching his eight and 10-year old siblings on the weekends while I was working, but now it's time for a change. Things change in life."

Rivers recorded 81 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles this season for Cedar Grove. Even more impressive, using his height, Rivers was able to get 10 pass breakups. Speed is also a tool Rivers uses, having clocked a personal best of 4.56 in the forty.

Rivers projects to qualify with a 1270 on the ACT and a 2.6 GPA.

He recently played in the Georgia all-star game.

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