The 2015 National Signing Day is now behind us, and it is now time to evaluate the Ole Miss Miss Rebels signing class. Let’s look past what was missed, because quite frankly there was not a lot missing out of this class. Sure, we missed out an offensive lineman, a linebacker, and one of the best defensive linemen in the nation. But, don’t let that discourage you from the enormous amount of talent that was brought into the program this year. Sit back and relax as we prove to you how good this class really is. Hotty Toddy!
Meet 2015 Ole Miss Rebel signee, Running Back Eric Swinney
The Breakdown: Eric Swinney is probably the most underrated recruit coming out of the 2015 class. This has a lot to do with the fact of his early commitment to the Rebels, and the Sandy Creek superstar running back never wavered. After coach Hugh Freeze said he was “all in” on Swinney, the Georgia native never consider another place than Ole Miss. During that time, Rebel fans were focused on uncommitted prospect CeCe Jefferson, and maintaining the commitments of Drew Richmond and Leo Lewis.
That was a big mistake for Rebel faithful.
Swinney is an ESPN 300 prospect, and is rated as high as the No. 13 running back in the country. He is a consensus four-star rated recruit and has the potiential to be the future in the Rebels run game. Swinney has amazing speed and is well-balanced. Swinney has excellent vision that helps him produced the most out of his plays. From his Hudl videos, Swinney shows a great ability to break tackles and has excellent pad level. Freeze has expressed his thoughts of Swinney and how he expects so much from this guy.
Here is what coach Freeze had to say about Swinney on National Signing Day.
"“Swinney has balance, talent, vision, toughness, pad level. He probably does not have the top‐end speed that a few in the nation have, but other than that, I would put him up against anybody. He has a low center of gravity. It was very clear for our staff very early on. We knew our depth chart at running back, and we really did not need to take more than one. I put my hand on the table and I said, ‘I want everyone to understand we are going all in after Eric Swinney. He will be our guy. We won’t waver.’ I really stand before you today and I want to give him, along with the others, credit. This kid had opportunities from anywhere he wanted, and he never wavered from his commitment, not one time. We are just thrilled that we have him. Our commitment to each other is mutual and it has just stood the test of all the storms along the way. I am just so thrilled that we have him. He is a special kid.”"
Where He Fits In: We all are aware of our troubles with the running back last season. Even though this had a lot to do with the offensive line not opening enough lanes, there really wasn’t that key player who made a huge impact in the run game throughout the season. Senior running back Jaylen Walton led the Rebels’ with 586 rushing yards and five touchdowns, but he ranked No. 18 among the SEC leaders. Sophomore Jordan Wilkins made a name for himself last season by showing promise in the run game, but his overall production was less than that of Walton. After the conclusion of the season, Mark Dodson and I’Tavius Mathers would transfer due to too much depth (and little playing time) in the back field. That is where Swinney comes into play.
Swinney will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in year one. I project him to compete as a true freshman, because I really don’t see Freeze redshirting this guy. At worst, Swinney will be behind Walton and Wilkins in the depth chart, but will see an exceptional amount of play time. At best, you’re looking at the new starting running back at Ole Miss if he can impress enough during the offseason practices.