Miss. LB has two frontrunners

The recruiting process is taking its toll on one of the marquee linebackers in the south but do not expect a commitment from Moss Point, Miss. native Marquis McBeath 6-0, 217, 4.6) any time soon.

"It takes a toll on you after a while," McBeath told Tiger Rag. "The phone calls are constant and now coaches can make in-house visits. It's about to get rougher."


The Ole Miss running backs coach (Ron Middleton) stopped by McBeath's house on Monday to meet his family and to shed a little more light on the Rebels' program.


"It went pretty good," McBeath said of the visit. "He stayed over here for about an hour and a half. He got to meet my mom and to tell her all of the things he had already told me."


LSU defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is scheduled to be in his home later in the week and Auburn coaches will follow shortly after. McBeath has three of his five official visits set up with Ole Miss (Jan. 10), Auburn (Jan. 17) and LSU (Jan. 24).


Florida, Nebraska and Alabama are in contention for his final two trips but he will have to wait and see what happens with the coaching controversies at Lincoln, Neb. and Tuscaloosa, Ala.


"I'm thinking about setting one up with Nebraska," he said, "but they say Nebraska may be having a coaching change. Then Alabama coach Dennis Franchione got offered $14 million for four years at Texas A&M. That might cause a small change in plans."


Out of the six schools he is still considering a couple has jumped to the top of his list.


"Right now I have a top two," McBeath said. "LSU and Ole Miss are the frontrunners and they are pretty much even."


McBeath, who is a full academic qualifier, visited both schools unofficially during the season but it was the LSU/South Carolina game that gave him a good chance to get inside the LSU program and to see how he would fit in on as a Tiger.


"It was great," McBeath said of his unofficial trip to Tiger Stadium. "They showed me a lot of love. They showed me that they really wanted me and really needed me. I got to watch their linebackers and their defensive scheme first hand and I feel like I can fill in pretty good at that middle linebacker spot."


Baton Rouge is two hours away from McBeath's home, while the Ole Miss campus is four and a half hours away. However, proximity will not have a bearing on his decision. He is looking for immediate playing time or at least a chance to strut his stuff as a true freshman.


"That is the main factor," he said. "I want to go in and play as a true freshman. I do not want to have to sit on the bench. LSU and Ole Miss are the ones that told me that I could go in and play as a freshman. Ole Miss already guaranteed me I could go in and start right away. If I sign with them the coaches want me to go to summer school so I can get in there and get their scheme down."


LSU won the battle with Ole Miss on the gridiron in November and now coach Nick Saban wants to win another one over the Rebels but this time the Rebs' may have the home field advantage.


"I'll probably make my decision a day or two before signing day," McBeath said.


Sonny's View: McBeath was more talkative in my latest discussion with him and LSU was always the first school he made reference to. That is not always a good indication but in this case I feel like it is.  

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