With less than two months remaining before National Signing Day, Ole Miss has 22 commitments and is still in the mix for many notable undecided recruits. I have compiled a list of the 20 most coveted recruits that are still within Hugh Freeze’s grasp. While my rankings of these recruits may be debatable, the contributions that they could make to this class are not. Remember, this list does not include players who have already pledged to the Rebels, strictly undecided commits. The first man on this list is Duke Riley out of River Ridge, La.
John Curtis Christian High School
River Ridge, La.
6’0 200 Lbs. (per Rivals.com)
Rivals: 3 star #46 position
Scout: 3 star #93 position
ESPN: 4 star #27 position
Other notable offers: San Diego State (scheduled visit), Minnesota (scheduled visit), Arizona, Cincinnati, Colorado, Mississippi State, TCU
2013 depth at outside linebacker: Rashawn Smith (commit), Denzel Nkemcihe (So.), Keith Lewis (Jr.), Serderius Bryant (Jr.), Brishen Mathews (Sr.)
Scouting report: Riley is defensive coordinator Dave Wommack’s type of player. By that I mean he recognizes the play very well and plays at a high intensity. He’s very quick for a linebacker and fights through the blocks well. With Ole Miss’s defensive mentality of swarming to the football, a laterally quick linebacker who can get to the ball carrier quickly is key, and that is what you get with Riley. While he is a good form tackler, he is not terribly strong for a linebacker. Strength coach Paul Jackson will need to put some weight on him, but with Jackson’s track record and Riley’s work ethic, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Likelihood of signing with Ole Miss: Along with San Diego State and Minnesota, TCU and close-to-home Tulane are in the mix for Riley. He is believed to be a strong Ole Miss lean and has a visit scheduled for January, but there may be an unexpected bump in the road, Les Miles and LSU. The Tigers have yet to offer, but there have been rumblings that Riley may be holding off a commitment to Ole Miss because he is waiting for the Tigers to extend a scholarship. With only one linebacker committed to the Tigers so far, an offer is entirely possible. Right now, I see the Tigers as the biggest threat to Freeze and company and I give Ole Miss a 80 percent chance at landing his signature.
Rankings thus far:
20. Duke Riley