Seph Anderson, Sportswriter to The South, focuses his sports writing skills on covering timely Ole Miss & SEC news, among all things sports across the South.
National Signing Day (NSD) is Wednesday, February 6, and the Ole Miss Rebels simply can’t wait.
Hugh Freeze, entering only his second year at the helm, has already put together a 2013 recruiting class currently ranked No. 13 by scout.com. However, Freeze and the Rebels hope to see the No. 13 ranking climb mightily on NSD.
Among a host of other players, the Rebels have already received verbal commitments from 5-star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell; 4-star defensive end Elijah Daniel; 4-star tight end Christian Morgan; 4-star running back Kailo Moore; 4-star running backs Mark Dodson Jr. and Jordan Wilkins; 4-star defensive end Lavon Hooks; and two 4-star quarterbacks, Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade.
However, Freeze and company still hope to build upon the very strong class already in place.
What uncommitted 5-star recruits do the Rebels have a chance to land on NSD?
Defensive End (DE) Robert Nkemdiche – No. 1 DE and Overall Prospect in America
The 6’4”, 282 lb. Grayson High School (Loganville, GA) DE is the single most highly coveted recruit in the country. How does a 7-6 Ole Miss team even have a shot at landing Nkemdiche? The main reason is quite simple. Robert Nkemdiche’s elder brother and rising Southeastern Conference (SEC) star, sophomore linebacker (LB) Denzel Nkemdiche, plays for the Rebels. Supposedly a close-knit family, many across the country feel Robert will ultimately decide to suit up on the field to make it a family affair. The top prospect is set to make his college announcement on ESPNU at 6:30 a.m. CT on National Signing Day (via ESPN).
Main Schools of Interest: Ole Miss, LSU and Florida
Offensive Tackle (OT) Laremy Tunsil – No. 1 OT, No. 7 Overall Prospect in America
The 6’6”, 295 lb. Columbia High School – South (Lake City, FL) OT is one of the more recent highly-rated prospects to give the Rebels serious consideration. Tunsil is set to make his college announcement on ESPNU at 7:35 a.m. on National Signing Day. Why is it thought Tunsil is so interested in Ole Miss after favoring Georgia for so long? Many feel he simply wants to join other top recruits set to ink with the Rebels and Hugh Freeze. Tunsil is set to make his college announcement on ESPNU at 8:35 a.m. on National Signing Day (via ESPN).
Main Schools of Interest: Ole Miss and Georgia
Defensive End (DE) Chris Jones – No. 2 DE, No. 24 Overall Prospect in America
The 6’0”, 190 lb. Houston High School (Houston, MS) DE is a young man under a great deal of scrutiny. Having originally verbally committed to rival Mississippi State, Jones has shown a late, strong interest in potentially joining forces on defense with the supposed commitments of DE Robert Nkemdichie and DE Elijah Daniel (already a verbal commitment to the Rebels). Regardless of the choice Jones ultimately makes on NSD, he will be the subject of a great deal of attention from fans of the opposite school throughout his college career. Jones’ exact announcement time is unknown at this time.
Main Schools of Interest: Ole Miss and Mississippi State
Safety (S) Antonio Conner – No. 1 S, No. 31 Overall Prospect in America
The 6’1”, 205 lb. North Panola High School (Batesville, MS) S attends high school a mere 20 miles away from Ole Miss. Thought by many to be one of the better chances of Freeze landing a top-tier recruit, Conner may in fact be one of the more difficult ones to call on NSD. Alabama has made a strong push for Conner in recent weeks, but will it be enough to pull the coveted S out of Mississippi? Conner is set to make his college announcement on ESPNU at 9:45 a.m. on National Signing Day (via ESPN).
Main Schools of Interest: Ole Miss, Alabama and Mississippi State
What uncommitted 4-star recruits will Ole Miss keep an eye on come NSD?
Offensive Guard (OG) Denver Kirkland – No. 5 OG Prospect in America (6’5”, 335 lb.) Booker T. Washington High School (Miami, FL)
Offensive Guard (OG) Ira Denson – No. 9 OG Prospect in America (6’4”, 320 lb.) Madison County High School (Madison, Florida)
Offensive Tackle (OT) Austin Golson – No. 10 OT Prospect in America (6’6”, 290 lb.) Prattville High School (Prattville, Alabama)
Defensive End (DE) Jason Hatcher – No. 10 DE Prospect in America (6’3”, 230 lb.) Trinity High School (Louisville, KY)
If Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze can land even a couple of these top uncommitted prospects, Ole Miss should easily finish with a Top 5 recruiting class in 2013 and the folks in Oxford will be on cloud nine.
For a college town known for throwing great parties, landing a Top 5 recruiting class may set off a party the likes of which Oxford hasn’t seen in quite a while. NSD sets up to be some great drama.