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January 24, 2010Long time Ole Miss offensive tackle commitment Jared Duke is no stranger to Oxford, having made several unofficial visits since last summer, but he still found things impressive during his official visit over the weekend.
"It was just a great trip, awesome," Duke said on his way back to his hometown of Cleveland, Tenn. on Sunday.
Duke, a 6-foot-6, 325 pound offensive tackle prospect who is rated three-stars by Rivals.com, was discovered at Ole Miss' senior camp in late last July and received an offer a few days later. He committed in early August after he and his family made a return trip to check out the campus. He also attended several Ole Miss games last fall as an unofficial visitor.
"We did lots of tours and ate a lot," said Duke, who was hosted by starting right tackle Bradley Sowell. "We went to Coach (Houston) Nutt's house and it was just a great time."
Duke also found time to speak with his future position coach, offensive line coach Mike Markuson.
"We really didn't talk much about my position on the team," Duke said. "He just told me to come in ready and he said there will be some opportunity to compete for a position on the two-deep roster."
Early Sunday morning, Duke and his parents, who accompanied him on the visit, had an office call with Nutt.
"We just talked about what happens on signing day," Duke said. "We had some last minute questions and he answered those for us. We just ironed some things out."
Duke, who said he's totally committed to Ole Miss and will sign with the Rebels on Feb. 3, was selected first team all-state (6A classification) by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and as a member of the Nashville Tennessean's Dream Team. His write up as a Dream Team member noted that he did not allow a sack all season, playing in a spread offense, and had he had an offensive line grade of 87 percent, with 40 knockdown blocks. He is also rated the No. 10 prospect in Tennessee.
He reports a 24 on his ACT and a 3.6 GPA, projecting him as a full qualifier.