January 14, 2010

Menzie names leader, set for final visit

Four-star cornerback Dequan Menzie will take an official visit to North Carolina this weekend.

It appears the Tar Heels will get the final shot at the talented cover corner from Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College. Further, Butch Davis and Co. will probably have to blow Menzie away to get him to wear powder blue the next two seasons.

On Thursday, on the eve of his trip to Chapel Hill, Menzie named a favorite and seemed all but decided regarding his collegiate home.

"Ole Miss is still on top," Menzie said. "It looks like that's going to be my home."

Menzie, a 5-foot-11, 200-pounder who is rated by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 14 junior college prospect, also claims offers from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. However, Ole Miss has been on his mind since he visited Oxford on Dec. 4.

"I just feel wanted and needed," Menzie said. "At some places, you're wanted but not needed. I just like the coaches and the program there. You know how you have to have that gut feeling? I just have a good gut feeling about Ole Miss. I love the coaches and I love the boys (current players), you know."

The Rebels will be looking to replace both starting cornerbacks _ Marshay Green and Cassius Vaughn _ from a team that finished 9-4, beating Oklahoma State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and finishing the season ranked No. 21 in the final Associated Press Top 25. Jeremy McGee and Marcus Temple have experience at corner, though Temple has thrived more as the nickel back in five-defensive back sets than he has as a true cornerback. After that, the Rebels' roster at corner is thin and young.

"Ole Miss is telling me I've got my experience at the college level since I've played JUCO ball," Menzie said. "They said I've seen the game speed and have made plays on the ball closer to that level. That's a plus for me."

If Menzie chooses Ole Miss, he'll be reunited with Ole Miss redshirt freshman cornerback Ryan Campbell. Like Menzie, Campbell grew up in Michigan before moving to Georgia. Like Menzie, Campbell started at Shaw High School in Columbus, Ga., before transferring to Carver High.

"It's like we've taken the same paths in life," Menzie said, noting that if they both end up playing for Ole Miss, it would be "really ironic."

Menzie said he doesn't know as much about North Carolina's program, though the Tar Heels are using a similar sales pitch employed by Ole Miss.

"I'm just really ready to get it over with," Menzie said. "At this point, (North Carolina) would have to blow me away."

Menzie said he doesn't plan to announce his decision until National Signing Day on Feb. 3.

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