One of the premiere defensive tackles in the nation, John Brown, and Cornerback Ahmad Black, who has been offered by several tradition-rich schools already, drove straight to Oxford from Lakeland, FL, for an unofficial visit to Ole Miss yesterday and today.
Two of the brightest stars in high school football didn't stop at Auburn or Mississippi State or Alabama or Georgia or anywhere in between - they came to Oxford to visit Ole Miss.
Brown, a 6-1 285-pounder with 4.9 speed, and Black, a 5-10 170-pounder with 4.5 speed, have helped lead Lakeland to consecutive AAAAA state championships.
Brown has been offered by Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, and, of course, the Rebels.
Black's list is equally impressive and consists of Georgia, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State and the Rebels.
"Ole Miss was our second unofficial visit," Black, who had 70 tackles and six interceptions in 2005, said via a telephone interview during their trip back to Florida this afternoon. "Really, it's our first. We went to FSU last weekend, but we've been there so many times I don't know if I count that."
Brown, who has been instrumental in Lakeland's 30-game winning streak that is ongoing and was First-Team All-State last year, said he had a good trip to Oxford.
"We liked Ole Miss. It was great," he noted. "We really liked the indoor practice facility and we enjoyed the town and the campus. It's small, but not too small."
Black, who did most of the talking because Brown was driving, said he was impressed with the closeness of the team.
"We got to mix with the team a lot and you could tell they were close and care about each other. They were real friendly to us and included us in everything," Black added. "The team meetings and film sessions were a lot like our high school meetings - you are there to learn, but it's a relaxed atmosphere."
Black said he and John are "not close" to a decision yet, but Ole Miss left a good impression on both players.
"Ole Miss has bigger and newer facilities than Florida State, which is important, but we really don't have much else to go on. We haven't visited anywhere else," Ahmad said. "We just know we like Ole Miss - it was a cool place."
Brown is known for his strenth and quickness off the ball. He benches 400 pounds, squats 380 and power cleans 275. Black's calling card is quickness and speed.
Their plans are to visit more schools when they can, but they have set up no other trips, officially or unofficially.
Phase two is to keep Lakeland's winning streak alive next season.
"Three titles in a row is our goal," Black closed. "We can do it."
Brown said Ole Miss is "definitely" on his ever-growing list and he's "glad he visited."
Lakeland stars visit Ole Miss
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