December 14, 2008

Kitchens to decide between Ole Miss and Purdue

Justin Kitchens had hoped this weekend's official visit to Ole Miss would clarify things.

It didn't. Instead, he left Oxford, Miss., more confused than ever before.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end from Warner Robins (Houston County), Ga., was one of seven official visitors at Ole Miss over the weekend. He left without a commitment or anything resembling a decision.

"It went real good," said Kitchens, who had 55 tackles and five quarterback sacks as a senior. "I liked it. I liked pretty much everything about it. It was pretty small. That was the only thing, really.

"Pretty much, I just hung out with my host (freshman linebacker Jason Jones). We didn't really go out much. I got to watch practice and see how they do things."

Kitchens said Ole Miss wants him to play defensive end, despite the fact the Rebels believe he has a perfect frame to gain some weight.

"(Ole Miss defensive line) Coach (Tracy) Rocker, I got a chance to meet the guy," Kitchens said. "He's a good guy. He knows what he's talking about. He knows his stuff."

Kitchens said he'll decide between Ole Miss and Purdue sometime in the next few weeks. That's the message he conveyed to Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt Sunday morning.

"They really weren't pressuring," Kitchens said. "They just told me they'd love to have me and for me to make a decision when I was ready. (Nutt) was a good guy.

"I'm just trying to put everything in perspective. I need to compare the two and think about things for awhile."

The decision, Kitchens said, will be a difficult one. He has already visited Purdue, so it will come down to a gut feeling.

"Ole Miss is in a bowl game this year," Kitchens said, referring to the 20th-ranked Rebels' Jan. 2 date in the AT&T Cotton Bowl against No. 8 Texas Tech. "Football-wise, they're doing real well. Purdue, on the other hand, offers a real good education. They had an off year but that's not to say they'll have another one. Ole Miss is on the rise right now.

"After seeing both of them, I don't think I can go wrong with either one. That's what makes the decision so hard. I guess it'll come down to me just thinking about it and one will just stand out more than the other. …It's not going to be that long. I just want to get a chance to think about it."

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