In the National Spotlight
By Peyton Spear
National attention has never felt so good!
In the past few years, athletics at Ole Miss have felt like a never-ending roller coaster ride.
While some may enjoy that feel of a ride if they are at an amusement park, its not a roller coaster you want to be on as an Ole Miss fan.
If you were to tell an Ole Miss fan during the Houston Nutt era that a year after his departure, the Rebels would potentially land in the top-five national recruiting class, fans would simply have laughed.
If you were to suggest to an Ole Miss fan a few years back that in 2013, our men’s basketball would be 5-0 to start Southeastern Conference (SEC) play for the first time in school history and lead the conference, they would laugh at that, too.
It’s clear times are changing at Ole Miss.
A big eye opener is the attention we are receiving from ESPN, the largest sports television network in the country.
Just this past week, ESPN announced they will be sending sports reporter Allison Williams to cover Ole Miss action on national Signing Day on February 6th. It looks like they are anticipating a huge signing class that includes verbal commitment from No.-1-rated wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Additionally, many around Oxford feel quite confident the currently uncommitted No. 1 overall recruit in the nation, Robert Nkemdiche, will soon commit to Ole Miss.
Other schools ESPN will be covering on national signing day include Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, and USC (Southern California). Seeing Ole Miss’ name next to these traditional powerhouses, it quickly becomes obvious we have really come a long way.
As Ole Miss basketball currently ranks No. 23 in the nation and climbing, according to the Associated Press, the Rebel hoopsters have been receiving national attention as well.
Prior to playing conference foe Tennessee, ESPN announced they would be airing coverage of our game on ESPN2, and that it would include commentary by famed Coach Bob Knight and Rece Davis, the host of College Gameday. Both commentators are part of a team that covers the largest games and teams throughout the country.
The Rebels have definitely caught the eye of the nation. The time is now to capitalize while we are making noise. Hotty Toddy and go Rebels!