December 2, 2009

Ole Miss has successful visit with 3-star DT

Bryon Bennett's house was quite busy Monday night.

The three-star defensive tackle from Madison (Central), Miss., entertained coaches from Ole Miss and Mississippi State during the first opportunity for in-home visits. The few hours showed just how tricky recruiting is, as one school strengthened its case and the other lost ground.

Ole Miss, already one of Bennett's leaders, seemed to strike the right chords with the nation's No. 29 defensive tackle.

"Ole Miss was a really good visit all the way around," Bennett said. "They talked to my dad a lot and showed me the opportunities with the open spots. Early playing time is big, and it's easy to see I've got a chance up there to do that."

In fact, it's the playing time issue that placed a negative on the Bulldogs.

"State showed me all the depth charts, and they've got all these sophomore defensive linemen," Bennett said. "They were telling me how I could play over those guys, but still, it was kind of strange they would even show me that. There are a few seniors, but the young guys are everywhere.

"I can't say State is very high on the list."

Ole Miss and Mississippi State are recruiting Bennett as a defensive end instead of a defensive tackle. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder doesn't have a preference, and Oklahoma is the only serious contender planning to leave the state's No. 11 prospect inside.

"I handle my body well and can control it," Bennett said. "So I can play either spot, and I do like getting after the quarterback. End would give me the chance to do that. I just want to get on the field."

Bennett consistently says Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Texas Tech are the frontrunners for his signature. He is planning an official visit to see the Red Raiders sometime in December and scheduled an official visit to Ole Miss for January 22-24. That appears to be when the Rebels are hoping to group together all Mississippi targets.

Bennett didn't schedule an official visit to Mississippi State.

He's also planning to retake his ACT this month after having made 17 on several occasions.

"I'm starting to get into the recruiting a little heavier," Bennett said. "Make sure my grades are up and do better on that test. And I'll take a few visits."

BENNETT TAKES IN EGG BOWL: Hours after Madison Central's season ended with a 36-21 loss to South Panola in the 6A North Half final, Bennett traveled to Starkville, Miss., to watch what turned out to be a Mississippi State victory over then-No. 20 Ole Miss, 41-27.

Having been on the short end of an upset himself, Bennett said he understands what the Rebels are going through.

"I kind of connected with them and get it because the games were similar," Bennett said. "You just can't stop the run and got off the field, and the quarterback throws a few picks. But at least they have a game left. It's was the end to our year."

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