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February 22, 2010
Ole Miss first to offer Atlanta speedster
Atlanta (Westminster) all-purpose back Ralph David Abernathy IV recently picked up his first offer and was impressed with the school that extended the offer.
"I thought I'd get an early offer, but I never dreamed it would be from Ole Miss," Abernathy said on Sunday evening. "Having them offer is an honor. It's a big time program and a great school and it's huge to get that offer."
Abernathy, a 5-foot-6, 153 pound speedster, said he learned of his offer last Friday from his high school football coach.
"They (Ole Miss coaches) called my coach and told him that they were offering," Abernathy said. "I called Coach (Terry) Price (Ole Miss defensive line coach who recruits the Atlanta area) and he told me that they were excited about the opportunity to recruit me and that I might play for the school."
Next up for Abernathy is a visit to the Oxford campus.
"Coach Price said they want to get me over in the next couple of weeks and I'm planning on getting over there in the next week or two," Abernathy said. "I've heard a lot of good things about the school and campus and I want to go over and check things out for myself.
While the Ole Miss offer is Abernathy's first, he appears in line for many other offers before signing day in February 2011 based on early interest he's receiving.
He is getting letters from Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt - and that's just the SEC schools. Other schools recruiting him include Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and North Carolina.
So far, his only junior day visit has been to Georgia Tech.
"I went to Georgia Tech, I think it was a couple of weeks ago," he said. "It was nice. I was really impressed with the freshman dorms - they were like apartments - really nice. I plan to go to as many junior days as I can, with the ones close by being the places I'll more than likely visit."
While the Ole Miss offer made an impression on Abernathy and has the Rebels in good shape with an upcoming unofficial visit likely, he said that he's still wide open to all schools and has no favorites at this time.
Abernathy ran for 1,501 yards and 21 touchdowns last fall as a junior and had 283 yards rushing when Westminster lost in the second round of the state playoffs.
He also lined up some as a slot receiver and said he played "a little defense when it was necessary."
The junior drew an invitation to work out at the Army National Combine for juniors during the week of the US Army All-American Bowl and recorded a 4.53 40-yard dash on what is commonly acknowledged as a slow track in the Alamodome. He recently received honorable mention for US Army All-Combine Team Offense from Rivals.com recruiting analysts.
"I competed pretty well," Abernathy said. "I was the fifth best out of over 500 prospects, so that's not bad, but I was disappointed and the track was a little slow."
Abernathy is in good shape academically with a 3.0 GPA and recently got his SAT results back and scored a 1550 on the three part version of the test.