OXFORD • The future of defensive line play at Ole Miss may not include McKinnley Jackson but could very well include a highly sought Tennessee two-way interior lineman.
There’s a lot of buzz in the recruiting media around Marcus Henderson’s name with Ole Miss.
Henderson, who played both offensive tackle and defensive tackle at Memphis University School, canceled a planned visit to Alabama over the weekend. He will visit Georgia this weekend and will make a decision between the Bulldogs, Arkansas and Ole Miss, according to a Rivals.com report.
Henderson is rated a four-star offensive guard on his profile for 247Sports.com which lists him the No. 14 player nationally at the position.
“For us, we had to have him play offense,” MUS coach Bobby Alston said. “If he needed to take plays off we had him take plays off on defense. That was our team need.”
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin may be drawn to Henderson’s versatility, but the need is greater on the defensive front than the offensive front where the Rebels return four starters and a number of young players.
When former defensive line coach Freddie Roach was on the Ole Miss staff the Rebels were in better position with Jackson, who may choose between Alabama and LSU. Roach joined the staff at Alabama, his alma mater, earlier this week.
The Rebels are also targeting Alabama commit Jayson Jones, a four-star defensive tackle from Calera, Alabama, according to 247Sports.
Alabama’s interest in Jones may have lessened as its position with Jackson has strengthened, the website speculated.
Jones has visited Baylor and Oregon recently and has added an Ole Miss visit for this weekend.
Henderson was named MVP in Tennessee’s Region II-AAA which also includes four-star defensive tackle Omari Thomas of Briarcrest.
“Physically he’s got the package,” Alston said. “He’s big, he’s got good size, he can bend … all those buzz words you hear the line coaches talk about. He plays with passion, he plays hard, and he’s coachable.”
Alston said Henderson has stayed with his own plan in the recruiting process.
Some schools wanted him to commit early, but he refused, saying there were places he wanted to visit after the new year.