January 19, 2009

Family atmosphere pulls cornerback to Ole Miss

Marcus Berg[db] needed some time on Sunday to think about things, but in the end, his feelings for Ole Miss were just too strong to ignore.

Besides, given an untimely knee injury suffered in the weight room earlier this month, the three-star safety from Neptune Beach (Fletcher), Fla., a grayshirt offer made a lot of sense.

So with that in mind, Berg committed to Ole Miss on Sunday night. The 5-foot-11, 171-pounder plans to sign with the Rebels on Feb. 4 and report sometime in late December or early January.

"I liked the staff," said Berg, who was hosted by Fon Ingram and Demareo Marr on his official visit to Ole Miss. "(Rebel recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks) Coach (Chris) Vaughn has always been there for me. That's what sold me. I liked how Coach (Houston) Nutt expresses it about being a family and the team being a family. I got to hang out with the rest of the team and guys who are committed and we all want the same things. We want SEC championships and national championships. We just have to work hard for it. It felt like we've known each other forever even though we've only known each other for a weekend."

Berg chose Ole Miss over Memphis. Alabama State and Bethune-Cookman had scheduled official visits for Berg for later this month, but those appear to be doubtful now.

"I'm taking the ACT (Saturday)," Berg said. "I need to get this ACT thing right."

The converted wide receiver feels he'll be able to help Ole Miss when he begins preparing for the 2010 season.

"I'm physical and I'm tall," Berg said. "I have a fine natural game. I just need to be refined by Coach Vaughn."

Berg's commitment to the Rebels could be a positive sign for Ole Miss' pursuit of his teammate, four-star wide receiver [db]Lamar Scruggs, who also took an official visit to Ole Miss over the weekend.

"I had a real, real good time," Scruggs said earlier in the day. "I like the people around here and the atmosphere. Coach Nutt is crazy, man. He is a real good guy."

Berg said Scruggs "really likes Ole Miss," Berg said. "He's been talking to South Carolina before Ole Miss came into the picture and he wants to give them a fair shot. It's the same thing for Illinois. They were the first team to offer him.

"If Lamar commits and we get the other receiver, Marlon Brown, the SEC is going to catch hell. He said he has to go to Florida and Tennessee to visit, but he seemed comfortable with us. We hope he comes to Ole Miss, but if he doesn't, he'll be on the wrong side of the sticks when we come to play."

Berg is ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 80 cornerback prospect.

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