July 6, 2010

Lyons taking significant look at Ole Miss

Considering Ole Miss' Fourth of July recruiting fireworks, which included commitments from four-star defensive backs Gerrod Holliman and Andrew Johnson, the Ole Miss staff can afford to get picky with its defensive secondary recruitment.

One prospect who would survive any re-evaluation is Ft. Lauderdale (Dillard), Fla. four-star safety Wayne Lyons, the No. 4 safety in his class, as ranked by Rivals.com.

Lyons, who toured the Ole Miss campus, along with the other members of the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team last week, expects to take all five of his allotted official visits.

Lyons said he'll make a commitment after he's seen the universities. While Lyons believes it's too early to name a leader or a top five, he said Ole Miss is in the running to land his signature in February.

"Oh, (Ole Miss) definitely has a chance, they might get an official visit," Lyons noted. "(Recruiting coordinator) coach (Chris) Vaughn just tells me to check out Ole Miss and get back on campus. They need me in the secondary."

Lyons' skills have taken him to 7-on-7 camps at Florida, Florida State, LSU and Alabama, to name a few. Most recently, Lyon's South Florida Express team won the Badger Sport Elite 7-on-7 national championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The victory, along with several clutch plays on Lyons' part, boosted Lyons' confidence.

The receivers Lyons shut down include four-star Southern Cal commits Victor Blackwell and Jordan Payton. The Californians aren't the only wideouts that Lyons has humbled during his busy summer.

"I went up against the best," said the 6-foot, 185-pounder. "I was able to lock down some of the best receivers in the country, and we came out victorious."

The quick safety wasn't able to talk with members of the Rebels' staff during his recent visit to Oxford, Miss., per NCAA regulations, but he walked away from his Ole Miss experience impressed with the practice facilities and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Lyons also enjoyed a party while in Oxford and chuckled as he recalled his experience and spoke of the things he likes about the Rebels.

"In the SEC, they were the underdogs," Lyons said of Ole Miss. "But, they're knocking people off, and I like that kind of swag."

The highly-touted athlete is looking for a university located in a college town that's "a nice place to live," with a strong academic program and a friendly, close-knit, competitive team. He's also seeking a chance to play as a freshman.

"I'm competitive, so I definitely want to go out there and compete," said Lyons. "I'm looking for early exposure. Hopefully do three or four years and then go on to the League."

Lyons will spend the rest of his summer "just trying to get 100 percent healthy," despite being timed with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash while fighting pesky hamstring and groin injuries throughout the summer.

"I'm just working on speed, trying to get down to a 4.2, at least a low 4.3 for the 40," said Lyons, who also described his playing style as "loud and with intensity. I fly around the ball and make plays."

As a junior, Lyons had 75 tackles, 21 for loss, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown. Lyons also plans to moonlight on offense as a wide receiver and plans to return punts and kicks this fall.

"I'm definitely going to do special teams and they've got me planned to be a receiver," he said. "But, my heart is on defense."

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