New Leader

Alex Givens out of Nashville, Tenn., had Auburn as his leader. But things have changed after a couple of recent visits.

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"Ole Miss is now my number one school," Givens said. "I just think their coaches are more personable with me. I love coach (Matt) Luke. My second visit to Ole Miss for their spring game boosted them up a lot."'s No. 68 rated offensive tackle took in recent visits to Auburn and Ole Miss so he could get a better look at each school.

The 6' 5", 270-pound tackle talks about his Auburn trip first.

"My visit to Auburn Saturday went good. I talked to their coaches when I got there Friday. I left at halftime, but I had a good talk with their coaches. They still haven't offered me, but they're coming up to one of my spring practices to talk about it some more."

What did he want to get out of the Auburn visit outside of discussing where he stands with the program?

"I just wanted to get to know the coaches better. I also wanted to see how coach Grimes coaches up his players. What his style was like. I found out he's calm with you and a real good teacher. He's all about techniques. I like him a lot. I liked all of their coaches and facilities. I like the area too but Ole Miss is number one right now."

What did the Rebels show Givens on his trip to Oxford to make them leapfrog Auburn?

"I've always liked coach (Hugh) Freeze and coach Luke. They're real good guys. They tell it to you straight and don't lie to you. I might not like what I hear sometimes but they're being honest. The past two visits to Ole Miss just really boosted them. When I got up there they told tell me to call them about anything on my mind. I'll ask them the tough questions and they just tell me like it is. Before this last visit I thought they were deep at offensive tackle, but after watching their spring game I found out they really need more tackles for the future. That really boosted them up a lot, but they've always been one of my favorites."

Alex Givens

The Nashville Christian standout also got a look to see how coach Luke coaches his offensive linemen.

"Coach Luke has always been a calm coach. I went up to a practice of theirs earlier so I already knew that. I went to the film session with him on my first visit and we went over everything. All of the players say the same thing about him and even the players who graduated that I spoke to. The guys who graduated all say the same thing. I've talked to several of them. I just feel it would be a really good fit for me at Ole Miss with all of those factors figured into the equation."

Has Givens let the Ole Miss staff know that they now lead?

"No, they always knew I really liked them. I didn't tell them the day that I visited that they were now my leader because I wanted to go back to Auburn and compare the schools. Now that I've had some time to go over all of the pros and cons with each school I feel like Ole Miss is the better fit, but they know I like them. I just got back from Auburn late Saturday night so I haven't had a chance to call them and let them know. I plan on doing it soon though."

Another twist in his recruitment occurred on his way back from the Auburn visit.

"Coach (Don) Mahoney for Tennessee got in touch with me on my way back from Auburn. Coach (Butch) Jones got on the phone and informed me that I now had an offer from Tennessee. They like how fast I play. They always told me that an offer would be coming but it was a pretty big surprise."

Tennessee has jumped into the mix.

"I have a lot of friends who go there. That's a plus. I also like their coaches and it's not far from home. That's a big plus. I don't like to drive far so I like it all around."

There are no more trips planned this spring.

"I think the Auburn visit was my last one for the spring right now. I'm going to try and commit somewhere this summer or at the beginning of my season, but I want to take it slow and make the right choice. I don't want to look back when I make my commitment."

Tennessee, Vandy, Memphis, MTSU, Ole Miss, MSU, Virginia, Miami, Syracuse and Cincinnati have all offered the 2013 All-State player.

Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for and he can be reached at

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