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February 26, 2010Dalton (Dalton HS), GA offensive tackle Watts Dantzler is not in short supply when it comes to offers from major colleges and already has an early list of his top five schools, but that won't stop the talented linemen from continuing to look at other schools.
On Sunday, Dantzler will take the trip from Dalton to Oxford to check out Ole Miss, a school in which he's interested, but not on his current top five list.
"I've always been a huge fan of the SEC, watched a lot of football on television, and Ole Miss is in the SEC," Dantzler said on Thursday. "I really like Ole Miss a lot."
There's another reason Dantzler is interested in Ole Miss - a lot of positive feedback from his friends.
"I've got a really good childhood friend, who is now a youth pastor, and we play basketball all the time and he went to Ole Miss and he told me how beautiful it is and has been in my ear a lot telling me I need to check out Ole Miss," he said. "There are also a couple of girls from my high school who are now at Ole Miss and they're telling me a lot of good things about Ole Miss, so I just decided I needed to check it out."
Dantzler said Ole Miss initially made contact with him earlier this year and offered a scholarship shortly thereafter. He said his contact, thus far, has just been mail and e-mail contact with the Ole Miss coaching staff, including offensive line coach Mike Markuson, who has sent several personal letters.
Dantzler, a 6-foot-7, 315 pound prospect, already has in excess of 15 offers, including Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Georgia in the SEC alone. Several other schools like North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Stanford, Miami, and Notre Dame have also offered.
He said he has named a top five that includes Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Georgia, and Tennessee.
"I kept being asked about a top five, so I came up with that list," Dantzler said. "The list is mainly those schools I've visited and I liked the most. I've probably been to about 10 schools on unofficial visits, and those are the ones that stand out based on facilities, coaches, gameday or campus atmosphere, that sort of thing."
Despite naming a top five, Dantzler said he's pretty much open to all schools. He plans to take the Ole Miss visit this coming weekend, then follow that with a visit to North Carolina on April 10 and said he'll also make it a point to visit Miami sometime this summer.
While there's been speculation that he might make an early commitment, that did not appear to be the plan on Thursday.
"Right now, I plan to make my announcement on my birthday - Nov. 16," he said. "I don't think I'll change my mind on that. I guess I could decide sometime during the season, but right now, I want to commit on my birthday."
One thing that Dantzler is yet to decide is what will make the biggest consideration when it comes to his decision.
"I'm not sure what the key factor will be," he said. There's a ton of things. When I take visits, I keep my eyes open and watch how the coaches act. I look at weight rooms, locker rooms, just a lot of stuff. I'm not sure there's just one thing I'll look at. I haven't thought about it yet. It's just a long way to go."
Dantzler has a 3.7 GPA and has not taken his ACT at this time.