East Mississippi Community College defensive tackle Jarran Reed has filled the open void left after Darious Cummings flipped from Ole Miss to Florida last month. Aside from tight end, the defensive line will be the group hit hardest by graduation this year. Experienced linemen Uriah Grant, Gilbert Pena, Jason Jones, and EJ Epperson will all play their last game in a Rebel uniform in January in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
With the substitution-heavy defense needed for Dave Wommack’s system, the Rebels need to compound as many linemen as they can. As of now, the majority of the 2013 playing time will go to Issac Gross, Bryon Bennett, Carlton Martin, and Woodrow Hamilton.
Hugh Freeze now has two defensive tackle commits in this class in Reed and Memphis three-star Herbert Moore. Besides Cummings, a stalwart of the class was defensive tackle Finesse Middleton, but the seemingly full-blooded Rebel flipped to Louisville earlier this month. Middleton was a big recruiter for the Rebels, but was not seen as a big loss as it pertains to on-the-field potential.
Reed, who was originally committed to North Carolina out of Goldsboro High School (Goldsboro, NC), was forced to go the junior college route due to a poor academic record. A number of notable programs offered scholarships including Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, and Florida State. His final list included the Gators and Tar Heels.
He’s a huge addition for the Rebels, not just because he is 6’4 and 305 pounds, but for what he can provide in stopping the run. He’s a big, strong lineman who can burst through the first block well. Between the lean quickness of Gross and the sheer power of Reed, the Rebels have a formidable middle of the line. Both Gross and Reed have three years of eligibility remaining.
Reed will finish classes in May, so he will count towards the 2013 class. He also becomes the sixth post-high school commitment in this class, joining athletes Jeremy Liggins and Nickolas Brassell, cornerback Zach Witchett, wide receiver Quadarius Mireles, and offensive tackle Brandon Hill.