July 27, 2008

Barrow, Rebs see what they want to see

Ole Miss wanted to see Lamin Barrow run on Saturday at the Rebels' invitation-only elite camp.

Barrow, meanwhile, wanted to finally see the campus of the program that has emerged as the leader for his considerable services.

From all accounts, both sides parted Saturday night quite pleased.

"It went real good," Barrow said late Saturday as he and his mother filled up the tank of the family car for the trip back to the New Orleans area after a day in Oxford. "I talked to (Ole Miss) Coach (Houston) Nutt. They're real excited about me. I had a real good camp."

Barrow, a 6-foot-2, 209-pound, four-star linebacker from Marrero (John Ehret), La., wanted to run a time in the 40-yard dash that would be better than the 4.83-second time he posted earlier this year. At Ole Miss, he ran a 4.65-second 40, a time that certainly improved his resume even if it didn't completely satisfy Barrow.

"I feel like I performed real well (Saturday)," Barrow said. "I came out doing what I had to do. I was a little disappointed in my 40. I ran a 4.65, but I feel like I can run faster. In the one-on-ones, they saw my real speed."

At the camp's conclusion, Barrow left campus to grab a quick bite to eat and then returned to the Ole Miss football facility to meet with several coaches.

"Of all the schools recruiting me now, Ole Miss is recruiting me the hardest," said Barrow, who said he particularly enjoyed his visit with Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, adding that he and the former Southern Miss and South Carolina defensive boss "just talked about what I could expect if I came to Ole Miss and how they are going to turn the program around. The same thing happened with Coach Nutt."

While Barrow, who is on pace to qualify with a 2.6 core grade-point average and an 18 on the ACT, didn't commit to the Rebels on the spot, he certainly moved closer. His mother checked out Ole Miss and Oxford while he participated in camp.

"My mom loved the campus," Barrow said. "While I was at the camp, she drove around and really liked it. If she's happy with it, I'm happy with it."

Barrow said he will take an official visit to Ole Miss sometime this fall, and he plans to bring his father with him at that time. Barrow has offers from Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, SMU and South Alabama, but the Rebels are well ahead of all of those programs. The potential fly in the ointment is LSU. Barrow camped at LSU earlier this month, and while the Tigers haven't offered, he and LSU coach Les Miles had a nice conversation before he left Baton Rouge.

"I would say I had a successful camp at LSU, but they haven't offered," Barrow said. "I came to Ole Miss and I saw that I was well-needed. Coach Nutt said he wouldn't want me to redshirt. He wanted me to play immediately. He said it's up to me if I start or not. I'm not going to choose a school based on that, but when I talked to Coach Nutt, I got a really good vibe from him.

"If LSU offered, I think it would be the same. LSU is closer, but I'm not going to let distance be a factor. I'm going to go where it's best for me."

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