April 17, 2008

Steen gets Miami offer, waits for Rebels

Anthony Steen left school Thursday afternoon and started returning calls.

One of those calls was to Coral Gables, Fla. Predictably, a Miami assistant coach was on the other end, informing him that a written scholarship offer was in the mail on its way to Clarksdale, Miss.

For Steen, the Hurricanes' offer was his fourth of significance, joining Alabama, Florida State and Southern Mississippi on his list. The 6-foot-4, 297-pounder from Lee Academy said Thursday he has no favorites yet, but it's clear the schools that have offered are going to have an advantage over teams still making evaluations.

"It'd be nice to have the offers now so I can think about it," said Steen, who is being recruited on both lines of scrimmage.

One of the schools Steen would like to get an offer from is Ole Miss. Steen took an unofficial visit to Oxford last week to watch one of the Rebels' spring practices. He visited with Ole Miss assistants Derrick Nix and Mike Markuson and checked out the Rebels' facilities.

"I liked Ole Miss," Steen said. "I liked Derrick Nix. He seemed like a nice guy. They had a nice indoor practice facility and a nice weight room. It seemed like a nice place to go."

Steen said he hasn't talked to Ole Miss since then and he still doesn't have a scholarship offer from the home-state Rebels.

"I don't quite know why," Steen said.

One possible reason, an explanation Steen acknowledges as legitimate, is Ole Miss, Mississippi State and other programs haven't seen him compete against top-level competition.

"I would like to play at the next level to see how I could do," Steen said, "rather than getting double-teamed or cut on every single play. That's why I'm ready to get to college."

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