By Trevor Terminie
The Lane Train has rolled through the Early Signing Day 2020, and 22 future Ole Miss Rebel football players have punched their tickets to hop aboard.
Arriving on the job just a couple of weeks before Signing Day last year, this was Lane Kiffin’s first year to recruit an official early signing class as head coach of the Rebels. Kiffin and his staff were able to bring in a talented class despite the limitations that COVID-19 has brought.
The class (so far) includes seven defensive backs and three defensive linemen to boost the faltering defense, eight offensive weapons, each three-stars or higher, and one of the best kicker recruits in the nation.
Overall, ESPN ranked the Ole Miss signing class at No. 20, whereas 247 Sports and Rivals ranked the Rebels even higher at No. 18. The class is ranked seventh among the 14 Southeastern Conference programs.
Kiffin’s recruiting abilities have helped Ole Miss become one of the hotspots within the SEC and college football, and the coaching staff will look to continue that into National Signing Day in February.
Across social media, even during an Ole Miss-LSU game week, the attention seems more focused on this signing class. Fans are becoming more and more excited about what the future holds for this Rebels football program.
One signee that seemed to garner the most attention on Twitter is four-star DB Markevious Brown, who signed with Ole Miss Wednesday out of IMG Academy in Florida. His commitment rounded out a signing day for the ages in the secondary, warranting many across Twitter to call Ole Miss “the new DBU.”
The hashtag #ComeToTheSip has trended across the Ole Miss Twitter community to not only encourage out-of-state recruits to attend Ole Miss but also to keep Mississippi’s prizes in the state.
Keeping players in-state also means pulling recruits to Oxford and not losing them to Starkville / Mississippi State. Nothing represents this successful strategy more than luring 4-star QB Luke Altmyer out of Starkville High School to Oxford. He signed with the Rebels Wednesday afternoon.
Ole Miss recruiting had a very #MerryFlipmas, flipping some major recruits to the Rebel squad. This includes in-state, four-star defensive back MJ Daniels, the George county star who flipped from Mississippi State and signed with Ole Miss.
The social media tactics used by the fans, Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss football program have provided a great advertising strategy for Ole Miss, and it paid off in the early signing period. The Ole Miss social media department has also gained much praise for its graphics and “mock radio calls” for each player on @OleMissFB Twitter page. This is vital for encouraging other recruits to not only join a rising football program but for each recruit to have a personalized entrance into the program.
Fans across social media seem incredibly happy with the way Kiffin has quickly made Ole Miss one of the top recruiting powerhouses in college football. They have also begun to look forward to National Signing Day on Feb. 3.
The Lane Train has been rolling full-speed ahead during the early signing period. Now, let us see how many more passengers it can pick up come February.