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August 12, 2009
Duke talks about Ole Miss commitment
Jared Duke had a long list of schools to choose from, but when it came time to commit, he nonetheless had a difficult decision.It's not like Cleveland (Walker Valley), Tenn. offensive lineman
Duke, a 6-foot-6, 325 pound tackle prospect, had offers from Ole Miss and Louisville, along with one from Columbia, but it was the Rebels and Cardinals from which he had to decide - and he clearly liked both.
In the end, it came down to one overriding consideration.
"I really liked the family environment at Ole Miss," Duke said on Tuesday evening. "That's what stood out to me about Ole Miss."
But several other things helped the process. Duke, who had not been offered by Ole Miss, showed up at the Rebels' Senior Camp on July 25 and had an offer in hand two days later. He returned just over a week later for a second visit.
"Camp was good, but the second visit, it was great," Duke said. "Coach (Mike) Markuson took us on several tours. He showed us (Duke was accompanied by his parents) the facilities and the campus and I got a tour of the engineer facilities and even got to talk with a professor. It was all just so impressive."
While Duke told RebelSports.net just after camp that he'd make a decision around the third week in August, he decided to end the recruiting process a little sooner.
"I guess you could say that it just hit me that I wanted to commit," he said. "Ole Miss is where I wanted to go, so I called Coach (Kent) Austin. He was pretty excited but also wanted me to call Coach Markuson and let him know too."
Duke committed late last Friday evening.
Meanwhile, he plans to concentrate on the upcoming season and isn't looking too forward to playing college football.
"I haven't talked to Coach Markuson about when I'll play or where I'll play (left or right tackle)," Duke said. "I just know that he's saying they are getting a little thin on the outside (at tackle) because of the guys they lost last year and then they are losing John Jerry after this year."
Duke said his commitment to Ole Miss is firm and that he will not take any visits to other schools or consider other schools that might offer later this fall.
He is currently ranked a two-star prospect by Rivals.com.
He is on track to qualify academically with an impressive 3.6 GPA and 24 on his ACT.