Much of Ole Miss' focus is still on the signing class that will ink the dotted line in February 2009 and report to campus next summer.
However, Ole Miss' coaching staff has certainly turned at least some of its attention to the just-as-important 2010 signing class. That diligence could pay off soon, as it appears the Rebels are very close to an early commitment from Macon (Noxubee County), Miss., wide receiver Vincent Sanders.
"They're No. 1 on my list right now and they've been No. 1 on my list a long time, ever since this summer," Sanders said Monday night. "I like the way they treated me, the atmosphere there and the campus."
Sanders, a 6-foot-3, 182-pounder who ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash this summer, watched Ole Miss beat Florida, 31-30, this past Saturday at The Swamp in Gainesville. Unlike many, Sanders said he wasn't the least bit shocked at the outcome.
"Believe it or not, I kind of had a feeling they were going to have an upset," Sanders said.
Sanders watched the game as a fan and as a prospect, and once again, he saw himself fitting into the Rebels' multi-faceted offensive system.
"They throw the ball a lot and they've got that 'Wild Rebel' offense," Sanders said. "I could see myself doing that. It's a good offense and by the time defenses realize who has the ball, it's too late and they don't have an opportunity to make a play."
Ole Miss offered Sanders a scholarship during the summer, and while schools such as Mississippi State, Georgia, Alabama, UAB, Auburn and Stanford have joined in the recruiting fray since then, the Rebels have consistently stuck out in Sanders' mind, so much so that Sanders said he's considering an early commitment, possibly this weekend when he goes to Oxford for the Rebels' homecoming game against South Carolina.
"Right now, I'm going back and forth, trying to get advice from people who played at the college level," Sanders said, adding that the people he's spoken to include former Mississippi State quarterback Omarr Conner and Noxubee County defensive coordinator Wayne Jones.
"Some guys are telling me I don't really need to do it yet," Sanders said. "Omart is telling me the same thing. My defensive coordinator, Coach Jones, is telling me to go with my heart. Right now, I see myself being a Rebel. They offered me a scholarship and I feel like they really believe in me to give me a scholarship that early. My heart is telling me to be a Rebel. I'm very excited. I'm looking forward to a W."
So far this season, Sanders has two catches on offense four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and eight tackles on defense. He played quarterback for part of one game, going 3-for-4 passing for 68 yards, adding 28 rushing yards.
Sanders is also close friends with Macon, Miss., senior wide receiver Patrick Patterson, who recently backed out of a commitment to Mississippi State and now lists Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Auburn and LSU as his favorites.
"We talk a lot," Sanders said. "He's not saying too much about recruiting. He's kind of holding back on that. Sometimes I'm telling him he's going to be a Rebel. He just starts laughing and shaking his head."
Sanders has a 2.9 grade-point average. He has not yet taken the ACT or SAT.
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