May 20, 2008

Blanchard ready to follow in brother's footsteps

Ole Miss has found a cornerback in Aberdeen, Miss., before.

So it shouldn't be surprising that the Rebels are going back to the same town _ and the same house _ to possibly find another one.

Aberdeen, Miss., cornerback/wide receiver Tevin Blanchard has gotten two visits from Ole Miss coaches in the past couple of weeks, and the 5-foot-11, 165-pound younger brother of former Rebel defensive back Travis Blanchard could be on the verge of a scholarship offer.

"They said they need some defensive backs," Tevin Blanchard said. "I haven't gotten an offer. They want me to come to camp and they'll be looking at me."

Travis Blanchard now plays for the Tennessee Valley Vipers of the Arena Football League 2. Tevin has talked to his older brother about his alma mater.

"He recommends it," Tevin said. "I have talked to him about it. He's excited."

Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said Ole Miss fans should be excited about the possibility as well.

"He's pretty quick," Duncan said. "A Southern Miss coach said he could play either way. He could do either one. He plays both sides of the ball real well. He gets off the ball well, catches it well and has good hips."

Blanchard had 44 catches for 1,025 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior. He added 11 carries for 59 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground. He also recorded 31 tackles, but he failed to record an interception. That wasn't his fault, Duncan said.

"They didn't throw at him," Duncan said. "That's what I told the Ole Miss coaches when they asked about his stats. Ricky Bell (who signed with West Alabama in February) had eight interceptions. They threw at him. They never did throw at Tevin."

"It was a little frustrating because I wanted an interception," Blanchard said.

Blanchard said he's planning to attend one of Ole Miss' one-day camps next month. Assistants Mike Markuson and Chris Vaughn have told Blanchard that they want to see his skills in a camp setting before making a decision about an offer.

"I really think Ole Miss is close to offering," said Duncan, who is in his second season at Aberdeen. "He's been kind of hidden here. Aberdeen's been so bad in the past that not many coaches have been around."

If the Rebels do offer, they would immediately move to the top of the list. Alabama, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech have been to Aberdeen to watch Blanchard, but of those schools, only Blanchard said only Alabama intrigues Blanchard enough to get him to take a look.

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