February 4, 2010

Rebels make strong first impression on Florida safety

The ink wasn't completely dry on the letters-of-intent Wednesday afternoon when the phone calls from the top recruits for the 2011 class began rolling in.

Over the past two recruiting campaigns, Ole Miss has made a name for itself in south Florida, signing prospects such as Korvic Neat and Charles Sawyer in 2009 and Quadarias Mireles, Cliff Coleman, Delvin Jones and Jeff Scott on Wednesday.

The Rebels will certainly look to the Miami area again in 2011, so they were undoubtedly thrilled to field a call from Fort Lauderdale (Dillard), Fla., safety Wayne Lyons Wednesday.

"I like Ole Miss," Lyons said while attending a signing day party at a Miami area Dave & Buster's restaurant Wednesday night. "I talked to (Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach Chris Vaughn) today. That went good. He said he was real interested in me. Ole Miss is a great school and it's in the SEC.

"I don't know a whole lot about them, but I know they're a great program. They said they want to jump out on me early so I can get a feel for things. They want to get me on the campus."

Lyons, a 6-foot, 190-pounder with a top time of 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 31-inch vertical jump, already has offers from Ole Miss, Alabama, Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

"Ole Miss, Stanford, Nebraska, Ohio State, Florida State really stand out," Lyons said. "It's pretty open right now though. I don't have a favorite."

Some of those schools, Lyons said, are recruiting him as a cornerback. However, Lyons believes he'll be a safety at the collegiate level.

Lyons said Wednesday's festivities made him begin to feel the pressure of the decision and the process that is in front of him over the next 12 monts.

"It's made me so excited for next year," Lyons said. "It's a real good environment right now. Over 100 players here (Wednesday night) signed."

Lyons, who has recorded 182 tackles, two tacks, two interceptions, eight pass break-ups and a fumble recovery in two seasons as a starter at Dillard, has already made a qualifying score on the SAT and is more than on pace to meet NCAA academic requirements.

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