"Ole Miss got a hold of my film last season and offered me a couple of months ago," added Matt Kiefer while discussing when the interest started between the two parties. "I decided to go up there and check it out. A former teammate of mine, Justin Smith, plays at Ole Miss. He likes it a lot up there a lot so I decided to see it for myself."
"Nice, really nice. The campus, town, facilities, all of it was just really nice."
What did Matt learn about Ole Miss during the trip?
"My degree is very important to me. I am going to major in Business Management so I wanted to check that out. I just want to find the place that is the best fit for me since I have got to be there for the next five years."
Kiefer, who has already scored a 1920 on the SAT, took a look around the business school at Ole Miss.
"I had already looked up their rankings on-line, but I had not seen their facilities. They were nice. They have a pretty good program. It is not the best and not the worst, but I definitely could see myself looking into it even further. They just have really nice facilities at Ole Miss, both academically and athletically speaking. The football program is serious. Their IPF is massive, and they had like 4 practice facilities. I did not get a chance to look a the dorms, but as far as football goes, they take it very seriously."
What stood out the most about the Rebels?
"Their fan base, most definitely. Their fan base is incredible. There were at least 300 to 400 fans just watching their practice. Everywhere around town everybody wants you to go to Ole Miss and their stadium looks like an NFL stadium. It is absolutely incredible. I had no idea Ole Miss was that serious about football, to be truthful."
What was Matt expecting Ole Miss to be like before he came on the trip and did it meet those expectations?
"I had no idea what to expect before I came on the trip. Maybe I thought the town was a little bigger, but I actually liked the square and the feel of a small town. But their campus is incredible and is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. I had heard it was really pretty, but I did not know it was that big."
What did the Ole Miss coaches have to say during their one on one time with Kiefer?
"I think the big point they were trying to send across is the family atmosphere they have at Ole Miss and that they care for their players. They try and get the best out of their players, not only in football but life in general."
How was Ole Miss' practice?
"Really good. They practice very similar to the way we practice. They do the same drills and things like that so it would not be too hard to adapt to if I went there. They also have a similar playing style. I think the only thing that could hold me back is the maturity level. Most of them are a year or two ahead of me."
Where does Ole Miss fit in the big picture now?
"I say my interest level is high with Ole Miss now. I am not going to be in the mindset to make a commitment until after spring practice is over (ends late May), but hopefully everything is going to go smooth for me, and I will have my decision by then. Right now I would say that Georgia, Georgia Tech, Duke, Vandy, Ole Miss and Vandy are at the top, in no particular order. Those are pretty much the schools I am focusing on right now."
What stands out about each school?
"I would say the facilities at Georgia and just the legacy of excellence. Duke would have to be their academic prestige and coaching staff. Georgia Tech's staff is definitely a plus with me, and I like the recent success they have had on the field. They are also a great academic school. Virginia's campus and academic programs are incredible, and I really like their coaching staff. And at Ole Miss, I like their facilities and just overall football program."
Yancy Porter is the Recruiting Manager for the State of Mississippi and he can be reached at email@example.com