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December 3, 2008After running a head-turning sub-4.5 at Ole Miss' summer camp, Cleveland, Miss. wide receiver Terrell Grant picked up an offer from the Rebels and Mississippi State soon followed suit.
While Grant was torn between the two schools prior to making a verbal commitment to Ole Miss after attending the Memphis game in late August, he's patting himself on the back now for his decision after the Rebels' remarkable 8-4 season.
"Oh man, am I glad I committed when I did," Grant said on Tuesday evening. "After I committed, I've kept up with them and they've won some good games. In some ways, I'm not surprised. I knew that they were going to be successful, I just didn't think they'd do it this quick. But the team did everything the coaches told me they were going to do - and more."
Grant made three trips to Oxford this season - all unofficial visits. He attended the Memphis game and committed the following Monday, then he returned for the South Carolina game and then came back for the Mississippi State game.
"I knew Ole Miss would win that game," he said about the Egg Bowl. "But I expected something close like last year. It was a good game. The defense really stepped up. They finished with really a great season."
Meanwhile, Grant's Cleveland team lost in the first round of the state playoffs and finished 8-3 on the year. Grant didn't have his personal statistics available, but estimates he had about 40 catches for between 350 and 400 yards, including five receptions in the playoff loss.
He said that other schools are not recruiting him heavily although both Mississippi State and Southern Miss have remained in contact.
"Coach (Tony) Hughes from Southern Miss came by my school the other day," Grant said. "He told me that he had just left Ole Miss and that it was a good school and wished me the best. He said that if something happened with Ole Miss to let him know and they (Southern Miss) would work something out."
However, it appears that nothing will happen with Grant other than that he'll sign with Ole Miss in February.
"Coach (Derrick) Nix and I talk a lot, at least every week," Grant said. "I really like coach Nix and I really love Ole Miss. I can't wait to get there."
Grant, who is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and a 4.48 forty time, is ranked three stars by Rivals.com and is clearly one of Ole Miss' targets to replace a group of wide receivers who only two years ago were playing as true freshmen, but will be seniors for the 2009 campaign.
That group includes Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster and two others who were recruited at wide receiver - Kendrick Lewis and Marshay Green - who are now playing on defense. The immediate need is to replace senior Mike Wallace, who has the ability to stretch the field as well as provide a threat in the kicking game.
"I'm probably more like Mike Wallace," said Grant, when asked which Ole Miss receiver he might most resemble. "He's a deep threat and I love catching the long ball. I also like the way he blocks. Many people don't look at his blocking, but he does a good job of blocking and I want to work at being that good."
Does that mean Grant thinks he could win a foot race with Wallace in the 40-yard dash?
"No way," Grant laughed. "I've heard he's been clocked below 4.4 or maybe even below 4.3. There's no way I could win. But I would hand it to him either, I'd give him a fight."
But Grant makes it clear that he's not Ole Miss bound to try to displace any of the current receivers.
"I just want to come in and make the team better," he said. "I'm a team player."