HN: Weve recruited Mississippi just a little bit but not much. Again we recruited Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana. So well probably concentrate on that very, very hard. Now that were in the state of Mississippi you start here. You start at home. You always start at home first.
Q: What do you do between now and the time your staff finishes the bowl game at Arkansas as far as recruiting?
HN: Thats a good question. Thats the most difficult time right now, when you do have coaches that are coaching in bowl preparation. What I have to do is organize the staff as best I can, the ones that are coming. I want to try to touch base and analyze a lot of these guys that have committed to Ole Miss and then guys that are still out there on the radar as far as recruiting. So theres a lot of organization things we have to do here in the next 72 hours to get that going. Thats the toughest process, but the main thing again is for me the players on campus first. Theyre your real salesmen, theyre your ambassadors, theyre your heart and soul. All freshmen think they can come in and play, and therell be a few that can. But most of them its hard to take that jump from Friday night football to that next step. So you better start at home with these guys. Then well get really zeroed in on recruiting.
Q: Do you feel you can keep your talent pipeline from Dallas to Oxford versus a closer Fayetteville? You have been very successful recruiting there at Arkansas, can you do that from Ole Miss?
Nutt: Yes, we can. I am sure going to try. Texas, Atlanta, Florida, North Louisiana has been good to me and I want to keep that going.
Q: Do you feel you have an advantage here recruiting due to location - near Memphis, Mississippi talent, near Atlanta, etc.?
Nutt: We have all the advantages in the world here, location being one of them. We recruited Memphis hard at Arkansas and now Memphis is in our back yard. That is a plus
Q: Arkansas has one major university. Mississippi has several. How do you make that transition in recruiting?
Nutt: Roll up your sleeves and go to work. Compete. We've got to be great recruiters - not good, great. I am here because I believe we can sell Ole Miss and so can our current players. We will get it done. Like i said, it feels good to be closer to the center of the SEC. Now Alabama and Georgia should be in play more for my staff. It will be fun.
Q: You have not raided Mississippi like some of the other schools in the SEC. What was going on with that?
Nutt: Arkansas is harder to get in JUCO players academically so I decided to go two a year maximum in JUCOs and they had to be difference makers. It was easier for us to recruit JUCOs out of Kansas. We spent our time there.
Q: Do you expect to go heavier than two a year now that you are in a heavy JUCO market?
Nutt: We'll see. Probably more than two a year because JUCO ball here is huge, but we want good fits and food chemistry. We will gauge character strong as well.
Q: Does Mississippi's talent pool excite you?
Nutt: Absolutely. There is a lot of high school and JUCO talent in this state and we will be the flagship university looking at them.
Q: Are you familiar with South Panola HS?
Nutt: For sure. 25 miles from here and loaded.
Q: What are the ethics of recruiting players who are committed to Arkansas, players on the fence there, players who you recruited previously?
Nutt: The ones who are committed, we will tell them to stay with their commitment. They chose Arkansas for a reason. But if Mom or Dad calls me and says 'we came for Houston Nutt,' we will look at that differently. We will welcome that visit to Ole Miss. We will not call current commitments to Arkansas, but if they call me, different story.
**We found it very interesting that he only likes to take two juco signees a year.
**The Rebel new head coach is not exactly sure what he is going to do between now and when the rest of his staff arrives after Arkansas' Cotton Bowl, which will be in early January.
In home visits started this past Sunday, and you can
rest assure that you will see many competing coaches in the homes of the Ole Miss
recruits in short time.
This issue alone could be the hardest obstacle for Coach Nutt to overcome. Unless he retains a couple of the former staff's assistants that played a key role in many of the commits and recruits recruitment, the Rebels will most likely lose several more of their commits and key recruits.
All eyes will be set on what happens when Coach Nutt arrives back in Oxford on Sunday. Ole Miss simply can not afford to have a "down" recruiting class or another "rebuilding" job will be in place.
**It looks like the main recruiting territories are going to be MS, TN, TX, Ark, LA, GA, and FL (probably in that order)
**Yes, he knows where South Panola is located and will be there in a very timely manner.
**Coach Nutt is licking his chops being located an hour away from Memphis.
**As we suspected, he thinks it is night and day easier to recruit to Ole Miss than Arkansas due to location alone.
**He almost seemed shocked at the number of recruiting questions that were thrown his way at the press conference and the media press conference.
**There will be a very fine line in which Arkansas recruits/commits he will continue to pursue. He will recruit all non-committed players but advise the committed players to stick to their Ark commitment. If they are dead set on decommitting and joining him, then he is not going to stop them.
This will get very interesting.
**Right now, there are no guarantees for anybody, which includes past assistants or current Ole Miss recruits.
He will break down each player on film and make decisions from there.
In the end, I believe he will stick with the vast majority of his commits and especially all of the MS recruits.
The ones who look to be in most danger are the juco commits, due to the sheer number of juco commits that Ole Miss currently has and how many he usually takes (which is two).
**Coach Nutt's passion for the game and father figure is going to win over the mothers and fathers these young men.
He defines what a "player's coach"
means. He simply loves his players and he wears it on his sleeves.
**Oh yea, did I mention that he is VERY aware of how important the South Panola commits and program in itself are to the Ole Miss football program:)
**Sit back and enjoy the ride as you now have a proven winner that has done it year in and year out at a school comparable to Ole Miss' in the SEC