September 26, 2008

Former Northwest OT to join teammates?

Just call Jamar Bass a journeyman junior college player.

Coming out of Apopka, Fla. in 2006 as a 6-foot-3, 270 pound defensive end, Bass went unsigned by a Division I team and signed with Fort Scott C.C. in Fort Scott, Kansas, where he redshirted his first season.

After a year at Fort Scott, he transferred to Northwest C.C. in Senatobia, Miss., where he started on the offensive line last season.

However, when head coach Randy Pippin was fired after the 2007 season, the new staff elected not to retain most out-of-state players on the roster, including Bass. That left Bass on the move again, this time to Hutchinson C.C., in Hutchinson, Kansas.

During his short time at Hutchinson, Bass has registered offers from South Florida, UAB, Florida International, Troy, and Middle Tennessee.

"I'm also getting interest from Ole Miss, South Carolina, Auburn, and Oklahoma," Bass said on Wednesday.

For Ole Miss, that means that offensive line coach Mike Markuson is taking a look at Bass to potentially fill offensive line needs. The Rebels are playing three seniors along the line for the 2008 season and have a shortage of reserves, in part, due to losing Kermit Davis, a 2008 signee who had medical issues and had to forego a college football career. They are likely to look to the JUCO ranks to sign two to three prospects who they feel can impact immediately.

"Coach Markuson is calling me a lot," Bass said. "He's just keeping up with my season and how I'm doing in the classroom."

Markuson may not have to recruit Bass too hard. The 6-foot-4, 290 pound offensive tackle, who claims a 4.69 40-yard dash, is also hearing from several former Northwest C.C. teammates now at Ole Miss, which includes three players from last year's roster. Those players are linebacker Patrick Trahan, cornerback Demareo Marr, and center Brandon Green.

"I know Demareo and played beside Green on the offensive line last fall," Bass said. "They've all been in contact with me and are telling me that they want me down at Ole Miss."

For now, the Rebels have yet to offer and any offer may be an function of timing according to Bass.

"I'm set to graduate in December, and they don't want me to come until May, next year," Bass said. "Right now, I'm not ready to do that. I'm ready to get out of Kansas."

If accurate in articulating the coaching staff's desires, any delay might be related to available scholarship numbers. It's not known how many early signees the Rebels will try to make in December - those where JUCO prospects can report in January and go through spring practice. That may not been known for several months because early signees are affected by the number of players who graduate early and are no longer on scholarship.

In addition to having former teammates on the roster at Ole Miss, Bass is also familiar with the campus and facilities, having taken an unofficial visit to Ole Miss last fall for the Florida game. He called the campus "pretty good with pretty big facilities."

He also said that he was recruited by former head coach Ed Orgeron and his staff during his senior year in high school, which increased his familiarity with Ole Miss.

For now, Bass says he's pretty much open, but if the Rebels continue to recruit him, he'll likely take an official visit to Ole Miss later this fall.

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