January 26, 2009

Arkansas DL talks about visit, commitment

West Helena, Ark., defensive tackle Eric Smiley entertained coaches from Texas on Thursday night. When the Longhorns' coaches left, Smiley made a decision.

However, it wasn't one that will thrill anyone in the Lone Star State. Instead, Smiley decided to stay closer to home.

Smiley, a 6-foot-5, 280-pounder ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 84 defensive tackle prospect, committed to Ole Miss Thursday, according to West Helena coach Russell Smith.

Smiley, ranked by Rivals.com as a three-star prospect, chose the Rebels over offers from Oregon and Tulsa. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Ole Miss on Jan. 23.

Repeated attempts to reach Smiley Thursday night were unsuccessful. Smiley's grandmother said that Ole Miss led for her grandson's signature but she added that she did not believe he had made a final decision.

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and his staff have been recruiting Smiley for more than two years, dating back to the end of Nutt's tenure as the head coach at Arkansas.

Smiley has been plagued by transcript and grade issues due to

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