California juco center blown away by OM visit

Ben Contreras (OC, San Francisco, CA) - The 6' 3", 290 pound center out of San Francisco CC took in his first official visit over the weekend to the University of Mississippi.

"I got there Friday right before the walk through for the game," added Ben Contreras.

Another Californian was Ben's player host for the weekend.

"Ryan Powers is pretty cool. He comes from California too. I actually played against him when he was out here."

The players at Ole Miss impressed Ben.

"I fit in real good with them. Everyone was real nice and cool. Everywhere we went, people were like you need to come play for Ole Miss. Everyone loves Ole Miss football down there. It is crazy."

The overall atmosphere was also a huge positive.

"I loved it. I have never seen anything like that. The Grove was crazy. There were so many fans there. During the game, the crowd cheered the whole time. The student section never sat down. It was unbelievable. I had never seen anything like it. They played Florida great too. Everyone was real nice. They all accepted me, everywhere I went."

Contreras also got a behind the scene view of Ole Miss' background.

"I learned a lot about the academic side of things. I went into their new Fed Ex academic support center, and there was nothing but new computers everywhere. I also did not know that Deuce played at Ole Miss. I saw his picture hanging on their Wall of Fame. The Walk of Champions the players go through before the game was real cool too. I really enjoyed that. And they run a similar offense that we run at San Francisco. It would not be that much of a switch, if I went to Ole Miss."

Ben was expecting big things before he left on his Ole Miss visit, but the trip far exceeded his expectations.

"It was way better than what I expected. All of the people are just crazy about Ole Miss football down there. The night before the game, we were riding through the campus. There was nothing but campers and people setting out their tents in their Grove. There were thousands of people already getting ready for the game. I did not realize how important football is to people in other parts of the country. Over here, football is just something to entertain you for the day. Down there, it really effects their life. I would love to play for fans like that."

The facilities were also positive.

"I did not realize how nice their indoor practice facility was until I went into the place. The place was amazing. The weight room, practice field, coaches offices, training rooms, just the whole thing. Everything is together. The place was just amazing."

Ben had a chance to get to know the Ole Miss OL and head coach while on his visit.

"Coach Orgeron has that energy about him. He is always energized. If I had a ton of energy like that, I would be banging off the walls (laugh). And Coach Kehoe, he is a real funny guy. He played juco ball out here, so he knew a lot of the people I know. I just think Coach Orgeron is doing great things with that team though. He has them on the right track."

The Rebels had a chance to defeat the national champions and that left an impression with Ben.

"Coming in, I did not think they were going to play great. But they played great. They were one play away from winning that thing. I thought I was about to witness a big/big upset. What really surprised me is that the speed of the game did not seem that much faster than it is out here. The guys are bigger, but not too much faster."

Being an offensive center, Contreras keyed on the offense during the game.

"They run a lot of the same things we do. They do a lot of outside zone, inside stretches, basically the same plays we run over here. That was the major thing I was keyed in on."

Ben met with the Ole Miss staff before flying back home on Sunday.

"Coach Orgeron asked me how I fit in. I told him I felt that I fit in with their offense, team, and university. He told me to go home, let everything soak in, and the day will come (when I am sure about my decision)."

Where does this put the Rebels?

"They are on top. The atmosphere is just too much. I have never seen anything like it."

OM Spirit Top Stories