January 16, 2008

Oher changes mind about the NFL

Less than two days after reports surfaced that left tackle Michael Oher would be leaving school early for the NFL Draft, things have changed.

Sources close to the program said Oher would be returning to school for his senior season.

Oher, projected as a first or second-round selection, said in a statement released Monday evening that he was ready for the next level.

"I just felt it was time for me to move on and pursue options to do new things," Oher said. "Attending Ole Miss was a positive experience for me, and I had a good time. I'm sorry we didn't go to a bowl game during my three years, and I wish I could have helped us reach that goal."

It's unclear why Oher decided to return to Ole Miss. After Houston Nutt was announced as head coach in late November, Oher said he was excited about returning to Oxford.

"I'm just waiting right now and trying to weigh my options. I want to see what Coach Nutt has to offer. I'm leaning toward returning," Oher said. "I really felt with all the stuff that he just told me in (a team meeting) that this could be fun.

"We have talent here, and we can win."

Oher started each of the Rebels' 24 games the past two seasons, helping BenJarvus Green-Ellis compile back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

As a junior, Oher was a consensus All-SEC selection.

Wednesday, the Rebels also announced Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach and former Ole Miss quarterback Kent Austin as Ole Miss' new offensive coordinator.


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