Rashan Gary is from New Jersey, but he got a heavy dose of Southern Hospitality this weekend.
Gary, the nation’s No. 1 recruit from Paramus Catholic High School (N.J.), took an official visit to Ole Miss this weekend. He and his mother, Jennifer Coney, walked away impressed.
“I go to these visits so I can really see what my son would be doing, who he would be doing it around,” Coney told SEC Country. “I haven’t seen too many negatives. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, I’m just saying that I haven’t seen it.”
Coney said the things that stood out to her the most were the people at Ole Miss.
“People were very warm and very welcoming. Just down to earth, good-hearted people,” she said. “That’s what I found.”
The family flew down to Mississippi on late Friday night, and were still in Mississippi on Sunday. Gary was able to take in the game day experience Saturday and had the chance to sit down with Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
“What I liked about it is that he asked me questions, told me about himself, which I do my little research,” Coney said. “He asked what was important to me. I said academics. He asked Rashan what was important to him and Rashan said ‘environment, academics, a coaching staff that he’s comfortable with.’ And (my son has) established good relationships there (at Ole Miss).”
One of those relationships is with Ole Miss defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, and that doesn’t just go for Gary. Coney said that Kiffin has done an unbelievable job erasing the distance barrier between the northern and southern state by making the whole family feel comfortable with him.
“That speaks volumes because he does reach out and he does talk to Rashan,” Coney said. “Because he’s been doing this for such a long period of time, months in fact, the relationship has formed. … He doesn’t have to walk on eggshells.”
The 5-star defensive tackle will take his third official visit to Auburn next weekend for the Alabama game, along with going to Southern California on Jan. 15. Gary has not yet decided on his fifth official visit, but is considering Alabama, LSU and UGA.