February 15, 2011
Rebels make strong impression on Memphis cornerback
Alex Dale made his "fifth or sixth" visit to Ole Miss this past Saturday for the Rebels' second junior day for the class of 2012.
This trip to Oxford was different for the cornerback from Memphis (MUS), Tenn., however. The Rebels have offered a scholarship to Dale, and that has the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder taking a long look at Houston Nutt's program.
"I love the place," Dale said. "It's a great atmosphere. It's a small college town. They're excited about having a good team out here and hopefully they'll do better. I feel like they'll have a good season this year."
Dale is also getting major interest from Cincinnati, Mississippi State and Arkansas. He'll be in Starkville this weekend for the Bulldogs' junior day, in Fayetteville in two weeks and then in Cincinnati sometime in April. Ole Miss, however, has an early lead of sorts thanks to the quick offer, one that came during Dale's junior season.
"It was exciting," Dale said. "It was right after our homecoming game. I was getting dressed and one of our coaches told me (Ole Miss) liked how I played in that game and they wanted to extend a verbal offer, so it was a real exciting night."
Ole Miss has urgent needs at cornerback, a thin spot on the Rebels' roster accentuated by the signing day losses of Floyd Raven and Jermaine Whitehead. Those recruiting setbacks were tough blows to Ole Miss, but they made the Rebels "definitely more attractive," Dale said. "I'd like to play real early, so if I could play early and just contribute as a freshman, it'd be a real good experience."
Dale, who recorded 64 tackles and two interceptions as a junior, said he is "pretty strong in man coverage depending on how big the guy is. If he's big, I can still be physical with him and I can run with small, faster guys. I probably just need to learn to get out of my breaks more once the receiver runs like a post route or a corner route, stuff like that. There's always room for improvement."
Dale said he's in no hurry to make a decision. However, he doesn't plan to drag the process out unnecessarily.
"I'd like to do it early before signing day. I don't like the recruiting things on ESPN and stuff like that. I'd like to get it done before February."
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