July 4, 2008

New Orleans center still interested in Rebels

Ole Miss is in the market for a center in the 2009 signing class and the Rebels remain interested in New Orleans (Brother Martin HS) prospect Joey Fontana.

Fontana joins Hoover, Ala. prospect Jesse Grisham as one of two prospects the Rebels are currently evaluating. Neither has an Ole Miss offer at this point and one or both are likely to stay in that situation until the Rebel staff has an opportunity to evaluate them at the senior "elite" camp on July 26. Both prospects have plans to attend the camp.

"I can tell they are taking their time and I think they feel they need to see me in camp," Fontana said Thursday evening. "If I go to camp, I'll put it all on the line and we'll see what happens."

Fontana, 6-foot-3, 290 pounds says he's still "definitely interested" in Ole Miss and calls either offensive line coach Mike Markuson or secondary coach Kim Dameron every week or two.

Fontana said he'll likey camp at Ole Miss.

"We finish our summer workouts on July 25 and I'd like to go up to Ole Miss," he said. "But it does depend on what our family summer vacation plans are."

Fontana said he had received a lot of mail from Ole Miss, but that communication has tailed off.

"As long as I have communication with them, that's fine," he said. "A lot of the mail (from schools) is pretty much junk mail anyway."

Fontana has offers from eight schools - Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Southern Miss, SMU, UCF, Louisiana Tech, and Tulane. In addition to those schools, three additional schools are on his interest list - Ole Miss, LSU, and Stanford.

He said he'd like to make his decision in August before school starts back, but calls himself "wide open" at this time.

Many think LSU might be the favorite should the Tigers decide to offer, but Fontana dismissed that idea on Thursday.

"They might be close to home, but I wouldn't necessarily commit unless I was told it was the only position left for their signing class," he said. "Playing time will be a big part of my decision and I want to go some place where I can get a chance to play early. "

Meanwhile, Fontana speaks in glowing terms about Ole Miss.

"I really like Coach (Houston) Nutt's staff," he said. "I've been up there several times for games. It's a great game day atmosphere. The Grove is great and it's a wild game day atmosphere and I like the campus."

One thing Fontana has yet to address with Ole Miss coaches is one of his criteria for selecting his school - the depth chart.

"I don't know what it looks like and haven't talked to Coach Markuson about it," he said. "I will if they decide to offer."

Ole Miss appears set to start true junior Daverin Geralds at center this fall after he beat out junior college transfer Brandon Greene this spring. Geralds was recruited as an offensive lineman but was shifted to the defensive line at one point due to personnel shortages.

One other thing sticks out to Fontana when it comes to Ole Miss.

"I've been recruited by Coach Markuson and Coach (Kim) Dameron, but I've had more contact with Coach Markuson," he said. "He's really been impressive and he's been with Nutt for 19 years. That shows there's a lot of trust there and it's likely he's not going anywhere. I lot of players have to change coaches at some point in their career and it would mean a lot to have the same coach for the entire time."

One thing that won't factor to heavily in Fontana's decision is distance. His mother works for Delta Airlines and he's permitted to fly at a heavily discounted rate.

Fontana said he finished up the spring semester with a 3.3 GPA and score a 23 on his first ACT attempt.

(Editor's note: Please enjoy this free read courtesy of RebelSports.net as an example of our coverage. Want this kind of coverage all the time? Click here for a seven day trial






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