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Ole Miss running backs coach Derrick Nix visited Franklin, Tenn., quarterback C.J. Beathard Saturday night. Good thing, too. Beathard had been wavering somewhat on his commitment to Ole Miss.

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Beathard had concerns with the offense Hugh Freeze is bringing to Ole Miss and how he would fit in. The offense is centered more on the spread and zone-read, unlike the offense under Houston Nutt, which was more of a pro-style offense.

However, after speaking with Nix, Beathard said he's much more comfortable. Mississippi State began showing interest in the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Beathard following the dismissal of Nutt in November, and Beathard was even considering visiting this weekend. The Bulldogs have yet to extend a scholarship offer.

Now, he said, he's solid again.

"Coach Nix came by last night and I talked to him for a while. It was just real reassuring," Beathard said. "I was kind of iffy on some stuff, if the offense would fit me and worrying about a lot of stuff. After Coach Nix came back, it was definitely reassuring. I liked what he had to say. He feels I'll fit in really well with the offense.

"I've never ran that zone-read option all that much. Not saying I can't do it. I can do it, I can run the ball and stuff like that, but I've never done it before. I was just questioning some stuff. But I'm good."

Beathard wasn't the only Tennessee product Nix visited over the weekend. He also sat down with Murfreesboro, Tenn., running back I'tavius Mathers, who Beathard is close friends with. After weeks of uncertainty, Mathers re-committed to Ole Miss following the visit from Nix.

"I talk to him probably every day," Beathard said of Mathers, rated a three-star prospect by "It was definitely real reassuring to see that he re-committed.

I'tavius Mathers

"I'd been trying to talk him into coming back, ‘cause we're good friends and all that kind of stuff. He actually told me a few days ago that he thought he was going to re-commit sometime this week. I was excited to hear that. It was good."

Beathard said he and Mathers have long planned on rooming together at Ole Miss. Those plans are back on now that both have reaffirmed their respective commitments.

Beathard starred for Battle Ground Academy last season. Mathers, meanwhile, rushed for 2,258 yards on 246 carries with 27 touchdowns in his senior season for Blackman High School. He was named Tennessee's Mr. Football.

"He's a really good guy. He's kind of quiet. He's not a cocky guy at all, which is really good, because a real good running back can get cocky and get a big head," Beathard said.

"He's just down to earth, quiet, doesn't talk too much. He's a good teammate, from what I hear. A kid that left my high school to go play at Blackman has told me how nice he is to play with and stuff. It's just great to have a guy like that, especially with the athletic ability he has."

A number of schools have shown interest in Beathard, including Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Duke, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He holds scholarship offers from, among others, Ole Miss, SMU and Tulane.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Mathers is rated the No. 37 running back in the country by Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have all offered.

Beathard said there is always a chance he and Mathers don't ultimately end up at Ole Miss, but with where things stand today, "I think it's pretty solid, unless something crazy happens."

"I'm still going to talk things over with my parents, you know? It's one of the biggest decisions I'm going to make in my life. I'm just going to make sure it's the right decision. I think it's the same with I'tavius," he said.

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