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Vassallo: Ole Miss Recruiting Class Assessed


What started out on Sunday of this week as a potential nightmare for the Ole Miss Rebel football program ended up on Wednesday as anything but.

Hugh Freeze and his staff of excellent recruiters found a way to save the day after losing two of their most prized commitments from rethinking the process. According to 247 Sports the Rebs had the 17th best signing class in the nation besting MSU who finished 18th.

As important as these rankings are to some, they are insignificant to many. The primary reasons include the degree of subjectivity and the wishful thinking that all signees will qualify which rarely happens. From my viewpoint this may be Coach Freeze’s best class yet. Here’s why:

The number of states that these players are coming from is most impressive. From New York to Florida, over to Texas and several in between, our coaches covered the waterfront pretty good. We got players for positions that we needed. Last summer we knew that this would be a smaller class in numbers and it would be extremely important that we had to focus on key positions opposed to blanket recruiting 4 and 5 star names.

What is probably the most impressive feature of this class is the overall intelligence when you hear their GPA’s and ACT scores. This also equates to making better decisions on the field and in life!

Looking at just a few of the players we signed, here are several that stood out in my mind.

  • Chad Kelly: Quarterback from Buffalo, New York. He has the potential to become a very good SEC signal caller.
  • Javon Patterson: Mississippi’s top prospect with a 3.8 GPA The offensive line will be enhanced!
  • Tony Bridges: Top JUCO in the country in defensive secondary. He can play ALL five spots.
  • Zedrick Woods: Another top quality defensive back from Florida whom FSU Seminoles was after.
  • Michael Howard: Yet another Floridian who will strengthen our offensive line tremendously.
  • DeMarkus Lodge: The No. 1 wideout in the nation from TX. Possibly the next Laquon!
  • Alex Givens: One of two from Nashville. Tennessee Vols won’t get this one as he brings size to the offensive line.

I also failed to mention that no previous Ole Miss recruiting class has ever had this many 4 and 5 star players!

The 15 players not mentioned (for lack of space) are equally impressive with excellent credentials as well. In conclusion, with 16 returning starters plus our redshirts, injured returnees like Chief Brown, plus this class, Ole Miss football has now reached the pinnacle of success that Coach Freeze was aiming for just 3 short years ago. We now have the depth, the quality and the size to compete in this league with anyone.

Congratulations are in order to this collective great group of coaches. Now we must wait until April to see how the competition at certain positions unravels. It’s a great time to be a Rebel and for some of us, a great time to reside in Oxford!


Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at (985) 852-7745.

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