UT eyes Mississippi DE

Tennessee has pulled some great defensive end prospects out of Mississippi in recent years – Will Overstreet (Jackson), Parys Haralson (Flora), Xavier Mitchell (Long Beach) -- and now the Vols are chasing another Magnolia State marvel.

Milton Talbert is a 6-3, 234-pounder from Hattiesburg who recently was named to the state's "Dandy Dozen." The honor touched him deeply.

"They only picked 12 people out of the state. I was lucky to be one of them," he told Yancy Porter of Scout.com. "God has truly blessed me. I owe everything to Him."

Talbert says he has scholarship offers from five SEC schools thus far, naming Ole Miss, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State. Several more schools also are seeking his signature but he says the five SEC schools and Southern Miss are the ones who "call and keep in contact with me the most."

Southern Miss' interest is natural, since the school is located in Talbert's hometown of Hattiesburg.

"It is just down the street," he said. "I go over there all of the time. But when I get a chance to see Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama and MSU, I am going to make a decision."

Talbert attended Junior Day at Ole Miss a few months ago, and came away very impressed with first-year head coach Ed Orgeron.

"He is just so excited and fun to be around," Talbert told Porter. "I would love to play for a coach like Coach Orgeron…. They are going to be good in a couple of years. It would be fun to be a part of that."

Mississippi State is in the picture because head coach Sylvester Croom has impressed Talbert as being "a strong Christian man."

So, what does he like about the Volunteers?

"They pretty much dominate now," he said. "Just look at their record the last couple of years. They are always going to be good."

Talbert is fast enough to run a 4.72 in the 40-yard dash, and he's looking for a college program where he can be fast to contribute.

"I want to know how quickly I can get on the playing field," he told Porter. "I want to know if I am going to redshirt or not. I just want them to be honest with me. I am competitive. I love to play."

Tennessee should be high on his list then. The Vols lose both of their projected starting ends, Haralson and Jason Hall, at the conclusion of the 2005 season.

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