December 4, 2008

New team enters fray for Alabama DT

Ole Miss has continued to recruit Birmingham (Spain Park HS) defensive lineman Darrius McMullin despite his commitment to Vanderbilt, but both the Rebels and Commodores may be challenged to land the talented athlete since another school has entered into the fray.

"I just got an offer from Florida this week," McMullin said on Tuesday evening. "I always said that if there's one thing that would make me really re-consider my commitment to Vanderbilt, it would be an offer from Florida. I really like them."

Despite receiving the offer, McMullin hasn't rushed to flip his commitment.

"I'm still committed to Vanderbilt and I won't change that until I have time to consider the offer and go down to check out Florida on an official visit," McMullin said.

Prior to Florida entering the picture, McMullin, who committed to Vanderbilt last June, had planned to look at Ole Miss and Kentucky to make sure that Vanderbilt was right for him.

McMullin, a 6-foot-2, 276 pound defensive tackle prospect, said he had firmed up a visit date to Vanderbilt on Jan. 16 and also planned to take official visits to Ole Miss and Kentucky, although he hasn't finalized those plans.

He is limited in available weekends to visit as he reports next week to Mobile to begin preparations for the Mississippi - Alabama All-Star game, which will be played the following weekend.

McMullin said no coaches have been by his high school recently, but that he still talks with Rebel offensive line coach Mike Markuson, who recruits portions of Alabama for the Rebels.

"Ole Miss is an up and coming program," McMullin said. "They have played a lot better than they did last year and they obviously got a good get with coach (Houston) Nutt. What he's done this year is real impressive."

McMullin said he has caught portions of several Ole Miss games on television this season and has been impressed with the Rebels' play, where they improved from 3-9 last season to 8-4 this season and are either headed to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando or the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

He said that he was attracted enough to Vanderbilt to commit early because of the academics offered by the school as well as the potential to play early.

McMullin said he was still shocked by the Florida offer and really hasn't had time to consider how that offer may change his plans when it comes to Ole Miss and Kentucky. He didn't discount entertaining overtures from either school, but based on his glowing remarks about Florida, it is apparent that Vanderbilt has it's work cut out to retain him on its commitment list, while Ole Miss and Kentucky's challenge to get McMullin to change his commitment just got more difficult.

McMullin scored a 21 on his ACT, which was taken as a sophomore, and maintains a 3.0 GPA.

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