Jalen was set to commit to Alabama until Ole Miss visit

Jalen Cunningham out of Odenville, Ala., was ready to shut down his recruitment before a spring visit to another SEC school. What's the latest with the 6-foot-4, 366-pound nose guard?

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"I was going to commit to Alabama at their A-Day until I visited Ole Miss," Cunningham said. "I decided not to after I visited Ole Miss. Coach (Hugh) Freeze and their staff really caught my attention. They took me around a tour of their facilities and stadium. We watched some film, and they showed me how I would fit into their defense. That's when it hit me that I don't need to go ahead and commit to Alabama. We went to their baseball game after that. It was a great environment. I fell in love with Ole Miss after that visit."

Alabama and Ole Miss are naturally two schools that are standing out, but there are a couple more who are heavily on Jalen's mind.

"I'm hearing from Alabama, Georgia Ole Miss and Mississippi State the most. I talk to coach (Dan) Mullen last Wednesday. I talk to him at least once a week. I also talk to coaches (Glenn) Schumann and (Tray) Scott at Georgia a lot. They just came to see me. Auburn still stays in contact too. Alabama, I talk to all of their coaches pretty much all of the time."

What stands out about MSU?

"Coach Mullen has been recruiting me since I was a freshman. I have gotten to know them pretty well through the recruiting process. I got my first offer from USM and MSU offered me the next day. I pretty much fell in love with them after that. I want to know how the coaches are going to treat me. I know at Georgia, Alabama, MSU and Ole Miss they will treat me well. I love the coaches for all four of those schools."

Alabama has been the favorite from the start.

"I've always just been a big Bama fan, since I was like a little kid. They started recruiting me in February and then they offered me. Southern Miss and Mississippi State offered me first, but Alabama was my first real big offer. All the others started offering me after they did."

The staff at Georgia has also made an impact.

"Coaches Scott and Smart, love those guys. I love their whole facilities. Their IPF is great, so is Ole Miss'. I just loved it all when I went down to Georgia for my visit."

Anymore visits on the horizon?

"I'm going to camp at Ole Miss, MSU and Alabama in June. I know I'm going to Georgia too, but it may just be for a visit."

Is there a timeframe for a decision?

"I want to make it before my senior season starts so I can concentrate on my team. We want to bring it home this season. It's a really big season for my team."

Some project Jalen at offensive guard but he prefers to play on the other side of the ball.

"I'm a defensive guy all the way. That's all I've played since I was in 6th grade. All of the schools are telling me I'll play defensive tackle."

Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com

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