January 15, 2011

Four-star cornerback re-opens recruitment

Floyd Raven committed to Ole Miss last month during an official visit to the Oxford, Miss., campus.

He spent the next few weeks recruiting for the Rebels, calling other prospects he knew were high on Houston Nutt's want list.

Then the communication broke down and the doubt set in. That culminated Friday night, when the four-star cornerback from Reserve (East St. John), La., took an official visit to Utah and informed the Ole Miss staff that he was no longer committed to the Rebels.

Raven spoke to Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach Chris Vaughn Friday. Ole Miss safeties coach Kim Dameron had been recruiting Raven for the Rebels, but Dameron interviewed for a vacancy at Texas Tech earlier this week and is widely believed to be one of three coaches who will not return to Nutt's staff for the 2011 season.

"For the last few weeks, I was calling and calling and calling Coach Dameron," Raven said Saturday morning. "He wasn't answering his phone. The recruiting with Ole Miss had kind of stopped. I was texting him and whatever. Then Chris Vaughn called me Thursday and told me Coach Dameron had been fired or whatever. I was kind of taken back by that situation."

Raven, who has already taken an official visit to Texas A&M and sports offers from Arizona, Memphis, Louisiana-Lafayette, SMU, Tulsa, Utah State and Pittsburgh, said he began doing extra research on his potential choices. He researched which programs were producing NFL cornerbacks and what style of play dominated the leagues he was considering playing in. He then decided he wasn't ready to make a final decision.

"(Ole Miss coaches) weren't really too happy about it," Raven said. "(Vaughn) was just talking to me about a whole bunch of things. He said he'd have my back. There was just a lot of talk (from other schools) about if they had another bad year (the Rebels were 4-8 in 2010 after back-to-back Cotton Bowl victories), the whole staff would be fired. I just need to think about it."

Raven will return home from Salt Lake City on Sunday. Texas A&M and Ole Miss are making in-home visits next week. A trip to Pittsburgh, the most recent school to offer, is possible next weekend.

"Ole Miss is definitely in it," Raven said. "Texas A&M and Utah are in it as well. Maybe Pittsburgh."

Raven said he plans to make some phone calls to some other key Ole Miss targets this week.

"I'm going to talk to them and stuff," Raven said. "I'm asking them why they haven't committed yet."

Then he's going to get ready for the Rebels' Tuesday trip to south Louisiana.

"I went to Oxford with a checklist," Raven said. "I'm going to have another one ready."

Raven, ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 123 prospect, is ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect in Louisiana and the No. 8 cornerback nationally.

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