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Damage control

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With all the firing and hiring of college football coaches, there has been a lot of interest in the status of prospects already committed to certain schools. It's still early, but it appears as though the new coaches at Nebraska, Texas A&M and Ole Miss might be able to hold their classes together.

Bo Pelini, Mike Sherman and Houston Nutt probably haven't had a chance to talk to all of the high school seniors committed to their programs, but many of those prospects already have given good reviews to the hires.

Pelini was the most recent hire of the three, though there had been speculation for weeks that he was in line for the Nebraska job. Pelini had spoken with Nebraska commitment Eric Harper, a defensive end from the New Orleans area, in his capacity as LSU defensive coordinator. Harper is excited about the hire.

Fellow defensive end commit Josh Williams may be leaning toward going elsewhere, but he likely will give Pelini a chance to talk to him before he makes his decision. That's also what offensive tackle Bryce Givens plans to do.

Linebacker Will Compton is considering several other schools, including Illinois and Missouri, but he is excited about the Pelini hire. On the other hand, before the hire, it seemed as though Compton was leaning toward going elsewhere.

The reaction to the hiring of Mike Sherman in College Station has been overwhelmingly positive, and he has had a chance to talk to many of Texas A&M's recruits.

Athlete Derrick Hall was impressed with Sherman's NFL credentials, though he may end up taking an official visit to LSU before National Signing Day. Defensive lineman Tony Jerod is another recruit who may take another visit or two before making a final decision, though he remains a soft commitment for the Aggies.

Sherman has been up-front with recruits, telling offensive lineman Chris Lathrop that he plans on putting the players through a tough period of physical training. That's fine with Lathrop, who seems to be a solid commitment.

Defensive end Matt Moss had a lengthy phone conversation with Sherman, who stressed his NFL credentials and what he plans on doing at A&M. Moss is solid to the Aggies as well.

Offensive lineman Joe Villavisencio, linebacker Kyle Mangum and athlete Andre Wolridge also have spoken with Sherman and appear set to enroll down the road. Athlete K.J. Williams seems satisfied with the hire and doesn't expect to have a change of plans, either.

The news isn't all good, though. Safety Markelle Martin's commitment was up in the air, and it didn't take him long to commit to Oklahoma. He's still entertaining interest from Oklahoma State as well.

The coaching change at Ole Miss is an interesting one. Many of the Rebels' committed prospects probably had been recruited by Nutt while he still was at Arkansas, so there should be some familiarity there. That said, the Rebels are a bit behind other schools in the recruiting race. Nutt has been busy trying to put together his coaching staff, and most Ole Miss commitments have not yet heard from Nutt.

That's a bad sign with the contact period now open. Other schools are likely to try to poach some of the Rebels' top talent. Don't be surprised if Nutt decides to look at a different group of recruits. He's planning on evaluating the film of the prospects who already have committed, so there's no guarantee the scholarships promised by the previous staff will be honored.

Linebacker Marlon Walls, one of the Rebels' top prospects, has already de-committed. He had built a good relationship with Hugh Freeze, a former Ed Orgeron assistant. With the news that Freeze would not be retained, Walls decided to open up his recruitment.

Defensive tackle Alonzo Horton also has decided to back off his pledge, and he's now considering offers from other schools.

Defensive end Aljoshua Tillman had been considering doing the same, but apparently has decided to stick by his commitment. There's still a chance he'll take an official visit to Auburn, though.

Another defensive lineman, Daniel Calvin, is one of the many Rebels commitments who hasn't heard from Nutt. He hasn't re-opened his recruitment yet, but he might not be far from doing so. Athlete Darius Barksdale, arguably the top commit for Ole Miss, is in the same boat.

Ole Miss fans received some good news recently when DeAndre Brown, the top prospect in Mississippi, said the Rebels were an option. Brown did not appear to be upset by the decision to fire Orgeron and said Ole Miss, Florida and LSU remain his final three options.

The quick hires could go a long way toward retaining -- or even improving -- the classes at Nebraska, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.