Ray Buchanan Jr. only spent a couple of hours in Oxford on Wednesday but the standout Georgia cornerback left with a good impression of the Southeastern Conference school.
The Ole Miss campus, and specifically the football facilities, stood out to Buchanan.
They also stood out to those accompanying Buchanan on his visit, his father, former NFL All-Pro Ray Buchanan, and Harry Obiorah, a fellow teammate at Peachtree Ridge High.
“I think that was his second visit on a college campus and compared to Auburn — because we went to Auburn for a 7-on-7 thing — he was like, ‘this is way better football-wise and school-wise,’” the younger Buchanan recalled. “Their facilities were top notch when I went there. They were like UGA’s — UGA just built a new facility. I think (Ole Miss) is right there with (Georgia).”
In addition to Ole Miss’ campus, the Rebels’ depth issues in the secondary really also stood out to the 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback.
“That really caught my interest because I’m looking for somewhere where I can make an early impact on the program and earn early playing time,” he said.
With a top 5 that includes Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Purdue and the Rebels, the school’s proximity to Suwanee, Ga, where Buchanan attends Peachtree Ridge High, isn’t of importance.
“Location probably isn’t a big factor with me,” he said. “I really want to find somewhere where I feel comfortable at and have a good relationship with the coaches.”
Buchanan has a busy summer ahead of him that includes visits to his top schools.
“Ole Miss is the only one I’ve visited in my top five. I’m supposed to be going to Arkansas on July 19 and then I’ll be going to Illinois probably sometime late in the summer and then Maryland, I already set up an official visit to Maryland,” he said. “I might set up an official visit (with Purdue) also.
“I just want to get a feel for everything and meet the coaches in person.”
At the conclusion of his whirlwind summer Buchanan plans to make his verbal commitment.
“I think I’ll make my decision around the beginning of the season,” he said. “I’ll probably want to announce my decision before the first game. We play at the Georgia Dome, so that would be pretty cool.”
Is Buchanan leaning one way or another?
“It’s wide open right now,” he said. “I’m just trying to weigh my options.”
Buchanan, who said he likes playing man defense and needs to work on covering the deep ball, is rated a three-star cornerback by Rivals.com and Scout.com and is ranked the 59th best corner in the country by Rivals. (July 8, 2011, Page 6A)