April 6, 2009

Four-star athlete searching for 'at-home' feeling

Matthew Wells had been to Ole Miss before.

So while his fellow prospects on the Oxford campus Saturday were getting an orientation of sorts regarding the program's academic support systems and strength and conditioning plans, Wells was searching for something less tangible.

Basically, the four-star athlete/running back from Monticello (Lawrence County), Miss., wanted to know if he would feel at home at Ole Miss.

"This time, they made me feel like be at home there and have a family," Wells said. "They impressed me a little more."

Wells, a 6-foot, 190-pounder with explosive speed and tremendous versatility on both sides of the football, spent a lot of his day watching the Rebels conduct their first scrimmage of the spring and then visiting with his recruiting coach, Kim Dameron, Ole Miss running backs coach Derrick Nix and head coach Houston Nutt.

"It went good," Wells said. "I watched the scrimmage. They looked good. They started slow but they have some big, nice athletes out there. All of it was good. I talked to Coach Nix about how I'd fit in their offense. I do fit in. They've got the 'Wild Rebel,' and I do that in high school. It's the 'Wildcat' to us. They could probably put me at wide receiver, too."

Wells, who has offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, Alabama and Auburn, said he talked to Nutt about the Rebels' tutoring programs and the relationships players and coaches built in Nutt's program.

"He told me I could come to him to talk about anything," Wells said. "He said I could go to his house or the coaches' houses anytime."

Wells didn't just take Nutt's word for it. He visited at length with Ole Miss running back/wide receiver Dexter McCluster, who was held out of Saturday's scrimmage with an ankle injury.

"I asked him about how everybody was and about how the coaches are off and on the field," Wells said. "He told me I could go to them for anything. He said on the field, they'll get on you for a minute, but they come back and get you up."

Wells said he still wants to take unofficial visits to Southern Miss, LSU and Tennessee this spring. As for favorites, Wells said, "It's still about the same with all of them. I still don't have a favorite college."

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