September 12, 2008

GA LB really liking Ole Miss

A Labor Day conversation with Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, that included a verbal offer, has the Rebels in good shape with Lithonia, Ga. (Martin Luther King HS) linebacker Joel Kight.

Kight, a 5-foot-10, 210 pound three star linebacker prospect has over 20 offers with the Rebels being the latest to join the fray. If Kight's conversation with coaches wasn't enough to leave him impressed, then Ole Miss' performance in a 30-28 loss over No. 20 Wake Forest last Saturday was.

"After I got the offer, I was really excited that Ole Miss was on TV," Kight said Thursday evening. "You better believe I caught the game on TV, I was excited. I was really impressed with what they did as a team. I really like the coaches and what they do."

While Kight declined to name a top five, between the offer, phone conversation with Ole Miss coaches, and watching the Rebels on television, he said that his is "really liking Ole Miss."

So much so, in fact, that Kight says he "definitely" plans to make Ole Miss one of his five official visits later this fall.

"That's going to happen, it's just a matter of working out the best dates," said Kight, who has never been to the Ole Miss campus. "My Dad wants to talk to the coaches and work out the details."

There's no shortage of candidate schools for Kight to visit. He has offers from Boston College, Minnesota, Arizona State, Middle Tennessee, Indiana, Connecticut, Duke, Oklahoma State, UCF, and UAB. He also recently added an offer from Iowa State. The remainder of the schools that have offered are either other non-BCS schools or Division I-AA programs.

"I've had a lot of calls since Sept. 1," he said. "So many that I can't recall all of them, but Louisville, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Boston College were some that have called."

At 5-foot-10, 210, Kight may seem on the small side to play linebacker, but there's a history with Nutt and small linebackers that includes Sam Olajubutu, an undersized linebacker at 5-foot-8, 225 pounds from LaGrange, Ga., who fared well at Arkansas. He started 40 games and is only the 14th player in school history to eclipse 300 tackles while earning an All-SEC first-team honors in his last two years.

"I'm not worried about my size, if they aren't worried about it," Kight laughed when asked about his size and playing Division I football.

There's also some more history with Nutt and the Kight family.

Nutt recruited Kight's older brother when the current Rebel head coach was at Arkansas.

Kelvin Kight, his older brother, was also a star at Lithonia High School before playing at Florida. Kight was drafted by the Patriots and now is in the CFL playing for Hamilton after losing his NFL job when the Patriots signed Randy Moss.

While Ole Miss is recruiting Kight for linebacker, several other schools are looking at him at running back, but it appears the potential for Kight to have a future as a Rebel is at linebacker.

"I'd say that the best part of my game is my quickness" he said in a previous interview. "I'm not the tallest linebacker out there, but I try to play bigger than I look and I can do that with my speed."

Kight's performance at the Tuscaloosa NIKE camp last May has helped his cause and cemented him as a legitimate Division I prospect. That camp featured some of the top linebackers in the southeast. However, it was Joel Kight, who walked away with the MVP trophy.

Kight had 65 tackles and four sacks in the first five games for Martin Luther King last season. During that stretch, he also rushed for 250 yards and seven touchdowns. He will continue to play both ways this fall.

Meanwhile, Kight said he realizes that he'll have to cut his offer list to a top five, but it appears Ole Miss is almost certain to be on that list.

Kight supports a 3.8 GPA and has already scored a 950 on his SAT.

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