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May 27, 2009

Rebels eye another Largo, FL prospect

Perhaps signing two players from the same school over a three year period doesn't constitute a recruiting pipeline just yet, but it's still safe to say that Largo, Fla. has been plenty kind to Ole Miss.

That started in 2005 when a skinny (5-foot-8, 160 pound) speedster caught the eye of then Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron and wide receivers coach Matt Lubick, who was recruiting Florida for the Rebels at the time. The rest is history with the ever popular Dexter McCluster, who will compete for post season honors after his senior season this fall.

It continued last January when the Rebels signed Largo linebacker Mike Marry. Marry, a 6-foot-3, 225 pound tackling machine, could see action this fall due to the Rebels depth situation at linebacker.

Ole Miss recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn, who plucked Marry out of Florida despite the standout athlete having over 30 offers from Division I schools, is now in the process of evaluating another Largo product.

Mike Douglas, a 6-foot-3, 225 pound defensive end with 4.61 speed hasn't picked up an Ole Miss offer yet, but feels one could be around the corner.

"I talked with Coach Vaughn the other night," Douglas said on Tuesday. "They seem really interested. I think the only thing that they may be waiting on is to see some film of me. I plan on sending up film from our spring game and I think when they get that, that should be enough (for an offer)."

Douglas explained that one reason he thinks he's yet to receive an offer is because of limited playing time as a junior last fall. He said he went down during the second game of the season with a deep thigh bruise that had some complications in healing and missed six games. He returned in time to play in the last five or six games as Largo went to the state semi-finals before being eliminated.

However, his missed playing time hasn't stopped other schools from offering.

He has offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Purdue, FIU, UCF, and Florida International.

While Douglas calls Marry a good friend, he really doesn't know McCluster, because Douglas was living in North Carolina when McCluster was rushing for 2,500 yards during his senior season. Still, he says he definitely knows who McCluster is and has seen him during holiday breaks around Largo and he followed the Rebels last fall.

"I caught all their games on television," Douglas said. "The win against Florida was something else. They have an offense that can definitely move the ball."

Perhaps the comment about the Rebels' offense coming from a defensive player was a slip - or maybe it's just that Douglas also doubles on his Largo team as a tight end and is equally focused on a team's offense.

"All the college coaches ask me the same thing you just did (will he play defense or offense)," Douglas laughed. "To tell you the truth, I don't know. I like tight end but my future may be best at defensive end."

Despite missing half-a-dozen games, Douglas said he estimates he had between 45 and 50 tackles last fall.

In the meantime, he's mulling over his situation with Ole Miss and planning the next step.

"If they offer, I definitely try to get up for a camp," he said. "If they don't, I don't know. Travel could be an issue either way."

Whether an offer is coming immediately or not, Douglas says he looks forward to Ole Miss recruiting him and said he'd definitely like to end up in the SEC - and at a school with a Largo teammate already on the roster - would make it even better.



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