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August 8, 2011Ole Miss' search for replacements for Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis moved closer to fruition Monday when Murfreesboro (Blackman), Tenn., running back I'Tavius Mathers committed to the Rebels.
Mathers, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound four-star prospect, rushed for a Tennessee-best 2,614 yards as a junior. He chose Ole Miss over Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.
Mathers visited Ole Miss earlier this summer. He also took unofficial visits to Kentucky and South Carolina. While visiting Ole Miss, Mathers ran into former Rebel star Michael Oher, a Tennessee native who is currently the starting left tackle for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
Mathers is the second prospect to commit to Ole Miss Monday, joining Tyrone, Ga., athlete Mike Hilton.
"He has pretty good size," Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Keith Niebuhr said. "When a play breaks down, he can improvise to get out of trouble. Although the competition he faces isn't great, he seems to have the extra gear, particularly when he can see the endzone. He's very slippery and shifty and difficult to arm tackle. He's constantly twisting and turning his body, and he has a low center-of-gravity.
"He's a very patient runner. He waits for holes to develop, then is decisive. He does a great job bouncing off defenders and keeping plays alive, and he's physical when he needs to be. He has solid lower-body strength; defensive backs have hard time bringing him down. He has good cutting ability and he's excellent at slowing and/or stopping then getting back to top-end speed quickly. He seems to fight for extra yardage whenever possible."