March 9, 2010

Rebels looking to dip into Miami again in 2011

Don't mistake Jabari Gorman's response to new scholarship offers as ingratitude or arrogance.

It's not that at all. However, as the offers roll in for the defensive back from Miami (Monsignor Pace), Fla., Gorman's joy is tempered by the knowledge that the decision he faces in the next 11 months is only getting more difficult.

"It feels good, but it makes it a tough decision also," Gorman said Monday night. "A lot of schools are telling me I'm the kind of athlete they want. You never know until you take that visit. Hopefully I'll choose wisely."

Ole Miss jumped into the fray recently, offering the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder. The Rebels have been very active in Florida, particularly the Miami area, since Houston Nutt took over the Ole Miss program in November 2007.

"I'm starting to speak more with the (Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach Chris Vaughn) and not just through mail," Gorman said. "Right now, they're talking good business. Pretty much, they tell me I'm a student-athlete and that's what they're looking for. Also, they know I know how to play. They see my ability. What makes them want me more is I'm an athlete and I can play both sides of the ball. Put me in the game and I can create. Coaches like stuff like that."

Gorman, who has a 3.7 core grade-point average, also has offers from Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Miami. The Hurricanes certainly have the home-field advantage, though Gorman said proximity to home won't be a major factor in his decision.

"I'm not a person who's afraid to move out of the state," Gorman said. "Schools see that I'm not the kind of person to go straight to the hometown school. Sometimes it doesn't work that way."

Gorman, who projects as a safety at the college level, said his focus right now is on his team's offseason program and his preparations for his senior season.

"I want to improve my strength and speed and I want to become a more productive leader for my teammates," Gorman said. "You have to have someone lead the team. I'm a playmaker, but instead of just making plays, I have to give off energy my teammates can feed off and make plays too."

Gorman said he'll turn his attention to recruiting some this summer. He said he's planning to camp at Alabama, Ohio State and Miami for sure and possibly visit some other programs _ including Ole Miss _ before turning his full attention to his senior campaign at Pace.

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