June 4, 2008

Scheelhaase has fantastic visit to Ole Miss

It was just after noon on Wednesday afternoon and Nathan Scheelhaase was trying to squeeze in a nap.

After a Tuesday that could only be described as "complete," the four-star quarterback from Kansas City, Mo., was exhausted.

Scheelhaase began his summer road show Monday with a trip to Oxford, Miss., to check out Ole Miss, the lone Southeastern Conference program in the mix for his considerable services.

Scheelhaase was back on the road Wednesday, on his way to Oklahoma. Next week, Scheelhaase will travel to Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. The third week will be spent touring Colorado, Iowa and Illinois, and he'll finish his summer of travel with trips to Stanford and South Florida at the end of the month.

Ole Miss, however, apparently set a very high bar for other schools to reach in their courting of Scheelhaase.

"Everything, from the road trip down to seeing the campus to meeting Coach (Houston) Nutt, was fantastic," Scheelhaase's father, former Iowa football player Nate Creer, said. "It was a great job. Ole Miss has a wonderful coaching staff. The program is definitely heading in the right direction."

Scheelhaase and Creer arrived in Oxford Monday night and got some rest. That was a smart move, as Tuesday began early and ended late.

"Coach (Chris) Vaughn set up a whole day for us and it turned out real well. Met up at 9 and had a campus tour. We had an academic tour at the FedEx building, lunch, a weight room presentation, an equipment room presentation, a training room presentation, a locker room presentation and then a sit-down with Coach Nutt. All of that was before we had dinner up.

"It was a lot better than I expected," Scheelhaase said. "The facilities were nicer than I thought they would be. It was good seeing the coaches again, but I hadn't seen the facilities there. They were right up there with the other schools I've seen."

"Coach Vaughn is terrific," Creer said. "He set the schedule up. It was well worth our time and worth our visit. Coach Vaughn did a great job. They did it right. Everything was great."

While Scheelhaase knew Nutt and Vaughn from their days at Arkansas (Scheelhaase camped at Arkansas last summer and was offered by the then-Hogs' staff), he had never met Ole Miss offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kent Austin, a former Ole Miss quarterback who just last season was the head coach for the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders, a team that won the Grey Cup. Scheelhaase and Austin talked Xs and Os Tuesday night until about 9:30.

"It was a good meeting," Scheelhaase said. "We talked about two hours about quarterback stuff. You could tell he knew what he was talking about. They want a quarterback who can do both. When they went into their Wild Rebel, they wouldn't have to do any subbing. That would be a big help to them."

While Scheelhaase talked football, Creer checked out the community. Creer said Wednesday that "distance won't be a factor," adding that Scheelhaase's parents will relocate close to the school their son signs with in February.

"It's a little small, but we kind of expected Oxford to be small," Scheelhaase said. "Otherwise, the people seemed to be really nice. Everyone, from secretaries to training staff, seemed to be nice people."

"Everybody treated me like family," Scheelhaase said. "Everybody met with open arms throughout the community. Coach Vaughn convinced me they'd be happy to have me."

Asked if Ole Miss had a better shot at his services today than it did on Monday morning when he pulled out of his driveway in Kansas City, Scheelhaase said, "Definitely. It was a good visit. It was exciting."

Creer was impressed as well.

"We had no idea what Ole Miss was like," Creer said. "We knew Coach Nutt, but we didn't know what anything looked like. It all turned out to be outstanding. With Coach Nutt there, it's just a matter of time before those guys start winning."

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