Article by David Collier, courtesy of SEC Country
Ole Miss signed its best class in program history on Wednesday, so obviously, coach Hugh Freeze was happy with what his coaching staff put together in this recruiting cycle.
Here are the top five things Freeze likes:
“If you’re going to put together a championship class, a championship team, you start at quarterback, and we feel like we got the best one in the nation.”
Five-star quarterback Shea Patterson won’t have to be the guy for Ole Miss in his first year on campus. Senior Chad Kelly will be the Rebels’ offensive leader in 2016.
However, the quarterback position looks to be in good hands for years to come with Patterson at the helm.
“Wide receiver, man. We continue to put guys in that room that I think are phenomenal.”
It’s easy to see why a top-rated quarterback would like Ole Miss when you look at the blue chip wide receivers the Rebels continue to add every year.
On Wednesday, Ole Miss signed four-stars A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Tre Nixon. Those three will join redshirt freshman Van Jefferson, sophomore Damarkus Lodge, juniors Damore’ea Stringfellow and Markell Pack and senior Derrick Jones.
Throw in three four-star tight ends to go along with senior Evan Engram, and it’s a safe assumption that the Rebels will throw it around over the next few seasons.
“On the offensive line, many are saying it may be the best in the nation as a unit. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but we’re really pleased.”
It’s hard not to be pleased when you sign six offensive linemen, which includes the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle in Greg Little. The Allen (Texas) High School product will be asked to be a heavy contributor immediately, and whether it’s fair or not, the comparisons to former Ole Miss star Laremy Tunsil will be made.
Nevertheless, the Rebels have lacked depth along the offensive line, and that was a huge point of emphasis in this year’s signing class.
“Benito is as good as I’ve ever seen coming out of high school.”
Of course, Freeze is referring to five-star defensive tackle Benito Jones, who was an early enrollee. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Waynesboro, Miss., product is known for his explosive first step, which Freeze compared to Ole Miss senior nose guard Issac Gross.
With some key losses for the Rebels along the defensive line on Wednesday, Ole Miss needs Jones to be a guy who can play early in his career.
The Rebels also added four-star defensive end Charles Wiley, who Freeze said has the most explosiveness of anyone he’s had on his roster, which is pretty impressive when you see how quick Ole Miss junior defensive end Marquis Haynes has been throughout his career.
“Mr. Skydiver himself, Deontay Anderson. … We thought he was the best safety we saw on film.”
Ole Miss knew who they wanted at safety, and the Rebels landed him in four-star Deontay Anderson. The nation’s No. 2 safety made a splash in his commitment video, as he announced after skydiving.
But for the Rebels, he was a big priority, and Ole Miss has further expanded their footprint in the state of Texas.
All player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.