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Insider

Dodson trying to land elite for Ole Miss

9/16/2012
Tom Hauck/ESPNHS

Mark Dodson Jr. was once an undecided college football prospect. Then he became an Ole Miss commitment. Now, he's a die-hard recruiter.

The ESPN 300 running back from Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven visited Oxford, Miss., on Saturday for the Rebels' 66-31 loss to Texas.

“My trip to Ole Miss was a great trip,” Dodson said.

Yet it wasn't Dodson's specific experiences he was most wanting to talk about. He wanted to talk about trying to convince other top prospects that Ole Miss was the best place for them. He was most talking about a pair of top prospects, five-star defensive end Robert Nkemdiche from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, four-star receiver Laquon Treadwell from Crete (Ill.) Monee and tight end Beau Sandland from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Pierce Community College.

Any would be a huge pickup for the Rebels, who already have a solid class with 18 commitments, including seven four-star prospects. Still, it will be a huge battle for any of the three.

Nkemdiche is committed to Clemson. Treadwell is thought to be leaning toward Michigan. Sandland has become one of the top junior college players in the country with offers from several top schools.

Ole Miss' hopes could be best with Treadwell. His former teammate, Anthony Standifer, is a freshman defensive back for the Rebels.

“Treadwell said he was loving it,” Dodson Jr. said. “You know Robert. I was just getting a vibe on him. He doesn't do too much talking, but you could tell he was loving it, too.”

Despite the loss, Dodson that the attention on Saturday's game could have a huge impact on recruits.

“The atmosphere was crazy,” he said. “You went inside the stadium and it was like a bowl game. You could see the changes in the program. The guys didn't quit. They came in and fought. They gave Texas a hard time. They didn't quit until the clock said zero-zero.”

When Dodson wasn't recruiting for his future team, he was enjoying the atmosphere. That wasn't hard.

“It's very exciting to be a part of that program,” he said. “I'm glad God gave me an opportunity to be a part of this.”

Ole Miss should be equally as thankful. The four-star Dodson has continued to wow onlookers. He rushed 27 times for 291 yards and three touchdowns in a win on Friday night.