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April 15, 2009When a person is 6-foot-7, 370 pounds, it's hard to hide, especially from college football recruiters but Perkiston (Gulf Coast Community College), Miss. defensive lineman James Carmon managed to do just that.
At "only" 345 pounds coming out of Baltimore (MD) City College High School, Carmon didn't warrant a star rating or any offers as an offensive line prospect according to the Rivals.com data base for 2008 prospects. However, things have changed after a season of junior college football.
Carmon said on Tuesday evening that he has offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Memphis and Southern Miss.
"I wanted to sign with Tennessee out of high school," Carmon said. "But I didn't have the grades and as it turned out, junior college ball was my last resort."
Carmon has made the most out of his junior college experience, making 42 tackles last season after shifting offensive line to nose tackle at Gulf Coast.
"I made a pretty smooth transition from high school to junior college and I think I could do the same in Division I," he said. "At first, it was different playing nose tackle, but on caught on pretty quick."
While Carmon says Tennessee and Mississippi State may be recruiting him the hardest currently, he definitely has his eyes on Ole Miss.
"They really turned that program around," Carmon said of the Rebels 9-4 season last fall. "I like what I'm seeing and hearing at Ole Miss."
Another thing that has Carmon's attention is the potential for immediate playing time.
"I know I could go in and start immediately," he said. "But, that's just me, that's the way I think. But there is good alignment with Ole Miss. They lose some guys on the line and will need some help."
Although many players who sign with a school and don't qualify feel an allegiance to that school and re-sign, although they are eligible to sign with other schools, Carmon doesn't have that to contend with when it comes to Tennessee. He wasn't signed by the Vols as part of their 2008 class.
Still, Carmon wants to keep his options open, including taking a look at Alabama. He said he recently was told by his college coach that Alabama has offered, although he hasn't received a formal offer in writing at this point.
And, while there's restrictions on college coaches calling high school prospects at this time in the recruiting process, those restrictions don't apply to junior college prospects.
That's left the door open for discussions between Carmon and Rebel wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson, Jr., who recruits portions of southern Mississippi for Ole Miss.
Carmon called his talks with Dickerson, as well as talks with former Ole Miss head coach and current Volunteer recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, as going smoothly. He said Orgeron has made the biggest impression.
"He's kind of like me," Carmon said. "Full of energy and goes full speed at everything. I like that. He's cool."
Carmon said he hasn't taken any unofficial visits this spring because of spring practice, but may make some unofficial visits later this spring and summer just to check out some campuses.
When it comes to academics, Carmon was very upfront.
"I'd say it will be a long shot for me to graduate by December," he said. "But anything is possible. Several teams want me whether I graduate in December or in a year, so that takes some of the pressure off."
As a 2008 high school graduate who enrolled in junior college last fall, Carmon will have two years of eligibility remaining and three years in which to complete it under NCAA transfer rules.