Interest Spike

DeMarques Gates committed to Ole Miss in late March, the three-star linebacker choosing the Rebels over the likes of Tennessee and Kentucky.


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At the time, however, his offer sheet wasn't extensive, save for the trio of Southeastern Conference schools vying for his pledge. Sure, he was hearing from in-state schools Georgia and Georgia Tech, as well as Mississippi State and others, but the scholarships weren't there.

How quickly things change.

Gates, who was in attendance for Ole Miss elite camp earlier this month, said interest from schools has picked up following his commitment to the Rebels. From North Carolina State to Indiana, Wake Forest and Miami, Gates is receiving no shortage of attention these days.

"It's a lot of schools still talking to me," he said. "But I felt like this was a good choice right now. They've got a lot of kids coming in this upcoming school year. I feel like they're building something new. I wanted to join in."

Gates tripped to Mississippi State after his visit to Ole Miss. His remaining summer schedule is yet to be determined.


DeMarques Gates
FOXSportsNEXT.com

"I'm pretty solid with my commitment," he said. "We'll see as time goes on what happens."

Ole Miss appealed to Gates because of his relationship with the coaching staff, led by second-year head coach Hugh Freeze, as well as his familiarity with the program. His former teammate at Lovejoy (Ga.) High School and close friend, tight end A.J. Jackson, signed with the Rebels in February.

"That's my boy. Me and A.J., we've been cool since middle school," Gates said. "There was just a lot going (for Ole Miss) with him and the coaches, as well."

Jackson was one of 26 signees in a 2013 recruiting class that ranked No. 10 in the country by FOXSportsNext.com. Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's top overall recruit, headed the class, followed by fellow five-star signees Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil and Antonio Conner.

Gates said the class played a part in his committing to Ole Miss so early.

"That gives us a little extra edge on how it's going to come up for the next year. Me following, if they're bringing in five-star recruits and then they play like five-star recruits in college, that might get them to the national championship. I want to be on board."

Gates said there is already a plan in place for how he'll be used at Ole Miss, should he hold firm in his commitment through National Signing Day.

"I'll be at outside linebacker," he said. "They said they'll have me down on the line sometimes, sometimes back in coverage - different schemes and different types of sets. I fit well defensively with any group. I make plays."


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