Almost a month has gone by since the final chapter of our series “The Top 20 Ole Miss Targets”. A lot has happened during this time, between commitments, subtractions, and additions.
Seven players have told the Ole Miss coaching staff that they should not waste any more of their time. Two of them were uncommitted prospects who pulled the trigger elsewhere. Ashton Shumpert (12) committed to Mississippi State and Mitchell Parsons (14) decided on Vanderbilt. Ebenezer Ogundeko (11) was previously uncommitted, but he signed and enrolled early with Clemson.
Shaq Wiggins (9) has been committed to Georgia for almost a year and was scheduled to visit Ole Miss this weekend. After a little hot breath from Mark Richt, Wiggins cancelled the rest of his visits and will remain with the Bulldogs.
Carl Lawson (2) is still committed to Auburn, and despite having a lot of interest in the Rebels, he decided that the distance was just too far from home and he will decide between Auburn, Clemson, and Tennessee. Jason Carr (13) is also still committed, with his pledge to Tennessee coming up on a year. He, like Wiggins and Lawson, was scheduled to visit this weekend but recently cancelled. Carr will decide between Tennessee and Alabama.
Montravius Adams (10) was always on the fringe of interest for Ole Miss and he put an end to that and elected not to take an official visit to Ole Miss and opted for an Auburn trip. Adams is still wide open, with Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, and Georgia still in the mix.
Ole Miss has ended their pursuits of Derrick Green (6) and Stacy Coley (7) for different reasons. Green appears to be a Wolverine waiting in the wings and it was not worth the time and effort to continue their pursuits of him with four running backs already committed. Coley, while talented and very interested, would have been another receiver for Ole Miss, where they already have between 3-5 commits who will play the position.
Four of the players on the list have since committed to the Rebels. Lavon Hooks (18) is already on campus after signing as an early enrollee. Kailo Moore (15), Laquon Treadwell (3), and Elijah Daniel (8) have all committed recently and have been avid recruiters for Ole Miss, Treadwell in particular.
That leaves seven prospects still in play for Ole Miss from the list. In numerical order, they are: Robert Nkemdiche (1), Laremy Tunsil (4), Antonio Conner (5), Corn Elder (16), Christian Morris (17), Dan Skipper (19), and Duke Riley (20). Nkemdiche, Conner, and Riley all appear to be heavy leans and all three will be in Oxford this weekend.
Tunsil and Skipper will also be in Oxford visiting this weekend. Tunsil is the top truly uncommitted prospect on the Rebel board as it is no secret that Nkemdiche and Conner are heavy Rebel leans. He is between Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and Ole Miss with the Bulldogs believed to be in the lead. With his Alabama and Georgia visits complete, he will wrap up his recruiting with Ole Miss and Florida State before announcing his decision on February 6.
Skipper is still committed to Tennessee, but he is still open to Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Ohio State as well. He has gained an influx of late interest and he could go any direction at this point. The coaches want two more offensive line commits, and they would be very happy if Skipper was one of them.
Morris remains committed to UCLA, but with high school teammates Herbert Moore, Marcus Robinson (if he qualifies), and walk-on Bobby Billingsly all Ole Miss-bound, there’s still a shot. He was originally scheduled for this weekend but that has quickly evolved into next weekend. Distance has crept into his mind as a possible factor, and the Rebel coaches are hoping so.
Joining Morris next weekend will be Elder. Apparently unimpressed with UCLA and insulted by Ohio State, the field has opened up for him. Vanderbilt is a possibility again as is Georgia Tech where he visited this past weekend. A basketball game forced him to reschedule his visit from this weekend, but he is still very much on the Rebel radar.
Those are all of the players who were on the list before, and with that much attrition, there has to be a new allotment of targets right? That is correct as new prospects have popped up since then.
Four-star offensive tackle and Florida State commit Austin Golson, has become a hot name in the Rebel circles. He visited Oxford last week and was the main attraction for the Ole Miss coaches. The visit could not have gone any better and there is legitimate worry in the Seminole camp that he may wind up a Rebel. A visit to Tallahassee this weekend will tell the tale, but the coaches feel good about this one.
Another name is former Texas A&M commit, wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo. A friend of Ole Miss commit Devonte Kincade, Adeboyejo has quickly gone from unknown by Ole Miss fans to a top target. The momentum on Adeboyejo is on full blast and all signs point to Oxford at this point. Many believe that they momentum is so strong that it is the reason the coaches severed ties with Coley.
AJ Jackson has always been on the radar, but things have picked up with him recently as well. Ole Miss and Florida State are co-leaders for the tight end, but all signs point to Oxford for him as well. His visit this weekend is essentially to answer questions that he has about Oxford as a town, including the campus safety. Considering Ole Miss is widely regarded as one of the safest campuses in the nation, Jackson should be in red and blue next season.
Offensive linemen Ira Denson, Denver Kirkland, and Wilson Bell have all come into the mix. Denson has been fleeting and it now appears as though he will wind up at Florida State. Kirkland has already visited Ole Miss and the coaches would like for him to come for a midweek unofficial visit with his mother to get her acquainted with the city. While he said Ole Miss led for him recently, FSU and Arkansas are very viable threats and he will probably end up in one of those locales. Bell is interesting because he has not been on the radar for BCS schools until last week when he gained a couple SEC and ACC offers including Ole Miss. While it may be too late for this UCF commit, he is definitely listening.
All of the talk lately has surrounded the “mystery recruits” that the commits and coaches are speaking with behind the scenes. My source, who I can only identify as someone who is employed within the athletic department, has told me the reasoning behind the mysteries and it will all make sense to the general public in a few weeks. There are very exciting possibilities as far as those recruits are concerned, and these two weeks figure to get crazier by the minute. Stay tuned Rebels fans, this is a class that will be talked about for years to come.