December 3, 2010

Junior college cornerback on verge of commitment

Just four years ago, Wesley Pendleton was a track star at Natchez (Miss.) High School.

Four weeks into his junior season, an injury to a football teammate led to Pendleton's first start in a football uniform. Some four years later, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound speedster from Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College could be on the verge of a spot on a Southeastern Conference football roster.

"I knew I could do it," Foster said Thursday night on the eve of an official visit to Ole Miss this weekend. "I just needed coaching. I learned from guys like (former junior college teammate/current Alabama defensive back) Dequan Menzie and got some fundamentals. It seems like it came naturally, really."

Pendleton, who has also drawn major interest from Utah, Louisiana Tech and Ohio, said he picked up an offer from Ole Miss recently. The first-team all-state and all-region cornerback said the offer made him happy. This weekend, Pendleton might take the Rebels up on their offer.

"I'm hoping it's a place where I can get a good education," Pendleton said. "I'm going to see the coaches and the facilities. If it's like everything I've heard, I'm going to go ahead and commit."

Pendleton, a December graduate who can enroll at his college of choice in January, said Ole Miss has told him if he goes through spring drills "like I did this year, I'll fight for a starting spot at cornerback."

Pendleton recorded 28 tackles, 11 pass break-ups and three interceptions last season.

FOSTER DOWN TO THREE: Pearl River (Miss.) Community College safety Otha Foster will be in Oxford this weekend, taking the second of three critical official visits. Foster has already visited Kansas and will visit Toledo next weekend. He said he plans to sign with one of the three programs in mid-December.

"They're telling me they're looking for me to come up and play safety," Foster said of the Rebels. "They said they need more personnel on their ballclub. I've never been to Ole Miss. I'm originally from Louisiana, but I've heard good things.

"I'm pretty much open-minded. As soon as I take my visit, I'll know. I pretty much got when I wanted, but I haven't told anybody yet. I got the kind of offers I want - offers from nice schools. I pretty much feel whichever school I go to, with the systems they run, I'll be a good fit."

WILLIAMS READY TO CHECK OUT REBS: Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College defensive tackle Sylvester Williams will also be in Oxford this weekend. Williams said the Rebels are "one of my top schools. I like their tradition and they're telling me they think I can fit in right away at nose or defensive tackle."

Williams, who will visit Oklahoma State on Dec. 10, said he is getting closer to a decision.

"I'm still taking the opportunity to talk to different coaches, see what they have to offer," Williams said, adding he has narrowed his choices to North Carolina, USC, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Georgia, in no particular order.

Williams said he will have his eyes wide open at Ole Miss, knowing the Rebels need immediate help on the defensive interior.

"I just want to see what kind of program they have, whether the team is together or separate," Williams said. "I want to get to talk to the players and see what they think about the coaches and meet the coaches themselves. I want to play in a special program. …They had a bad year, but they won't affect my decision. I want to make a difference. Everybody tries to recruit to get past the negatives. They were young in the secondary."

VISIT LIST: In addition to Pendleton, Foster and Williams, Ole Miss is expected to host Brooklyn (ASA College), N.Y., defensive tackle Gilbert Pena and safety Ivan Nicholas; East Los Angeles College wide receivers Anthony Denham and Eric McHenry; Destrehan, La., center Ethan Hutson and Tampa, Fla., linebacker Keith Lewis on official visits this weekend.

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