February 22, 2008

2009 Rebel commitment updates status

Ole Miss has one commitment for the 2009 class and that dates back to a verbal pledge made by Waggaman, La. running back Peyton Jason last March.

Jason, 6-foot, 190 pounds, committed before he finished his sophomore year and while the coaching staff at Ole Miss has changed, he remains committed to the Rebels.

"I haven't heard from the new staff," Jason said on Thursday evening. "But I'm still committed to Ole Miss."

In the meantime, Jason is receiving interest from several other schools and is listed on the ESPN 150 Watch List.

"I'm getting letters from Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee and most of the other SEC schools," he said. "I'm also hearing from Virginia."

A couple of schools have peaked Jason's interest enough for him to attend junior days.

He was at Alabama for a recent junior day and will attend LSU's junior day this Saturday.

"Alabama, it was real exciting," Jason said. "I'm pretty close to (Alabama) coach (Burton) Burns. We just did the things you normally do on junior day, kind of the same thing I did when I visited Ole Miss."

Jason, who was recruited by former Rebel running backs coach Frank Wilson when he committed to Ole Miss, said he received a questionnaire on Thursday from Southern Miss and expects to be recruited by the former Rebel coach.

"I committed to Ole Miss because of the excitement on the staff," Jason said. "I was watching coach (Ed) Orgeron jumping up and down on the sideline and coach Frank was the same way. You could just see the excitement and I wanted to be a part of that."

Jason finished up his junior season after playing through a couple of injuries that resulted him seeing action in only five games. He first suffered and played some with a deep bone bruise in his ankle and then broke his collarbone.

In the five games, he still picked up 500 yards and had ten touchdowns.

Despite the limited action, he drew an invitation to attend the junior combine at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio last month.

"I think I was one of the better backs in the camp," he said. "I ran a 4.61 40-yard dash but it was one of the fastest times there. I then ran a 4.75 in Mobile in 20-degree weather which was also one of the fastest times there."

Jason says he normally runs a 4.4 40-yard dash and has turned in a 4.3 "on a good day." His 40-yard dash in San Antonio was on field turf and it was the first time he'd been timed or played on the artificial surface.

Jason seems unfazed by the coaching change at Ole Miss and is patiently waiting to be contacted by the staff and says that while he really liked the former staff, he remains committed to Ole Miss because he loves the campus and educational opportunities in his planned major.

He plans to camp at Ole Miss, LSU and Alabama this summer. He will also attend the Baton Rouge Nike Camp later this year.

One thing that is likely to make Jason even more attractive to college recruiters is his academic status.

He has a 2.8 GPA and recently scored a 20 on is first ACT attempt.

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