October 2, 2008

Knoxville ATH coming for Ole Miss visit

Three-star offensive tackle Daniel Hood will take an unofficial visit to Ole Miss this weekend for the South Carolina game, his second trip to Oxford since last July.

Hood, a 6-foot-5, 255 pound prospect from Knoxville (Catholic HS), Tenn. is being recruited by most colleges as an offensive tackle, but Ole Miss is pursuing him as a tight end prospect. He is tight end and defensive end for Catholic this fall.

"I've been planning on going back to Ole Miss for some time," Hood said on Thursday. "I plan on making this visit an unofficial visit and then take an official to Ole Miss in December."

Hood has a laundry list of offers that includes the likes of Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech and almost half the teams in the SEC.

However, for now, he's narrowed his list down to three schools - Ole Miss, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.

Hood has a brother who lives in Oxford and attends Northwest C.C. which makes for an easy trip from a lodging standpoint and Hood gave the Ole Miss campus and coaches rave reviews after visiting last summer. He is being recruited by Rebel offensive coordinator Kent Austin, who recruits central and east Tennessee for the Rebels.

While the first trip bolstered the Rebels' chances for the prep standout, the Rebels' play this year has put Ole Miss dead in the mix to sign Hood next February.

"Ole Miss is just two plays away from being 5-0," Hood said. "There was that fumble on the one-foot line that cost them the Vanderbilt game and then that 15-yard penalty (for pass interference that put Wake Forest in field goal position in a 30-28 loss)."

The Rebels' win over Florida also left an impression, but Hood wasn't totally surprised.

"I expected a good game," Hood said. "But that was really impressive. Houston Nutt is a great coach. Their future is really bright at Ole Miss."

Hood says he continues to talk to Ole Miss coaches regularly and has developed a good relationship with Austin that has helped the Rebels' cause.

With a 3.8 GPA and a 27 on the ACT, Hood said he could probably graduate from high school early, but prefers to stick around for his final semester in high school next spring to compete in basketball.

Hood took unofficial visits to UCLA and Virginia Tech last summer before naming his top three. He says there's no order among his top three schools - Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, and Auburn.

Hood said he will take official visits to those three schools before making a verbal commitment.

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