A look back at the 2016 Ole Miss recruiting class with Yancy Porter

Photo via Sports Illustrated
Photo via Sports Illustrated /

With the 2016 class behind us, Ole Hotty Toddy recently visited with Yancy Porter, recruiting analyst here at OHT and recruiting director of the Ole Miss Spirit. The Rebels finished again in the Top-10 in the country in all major recruiting services.

Ole Hotty Toddy: How fast after signing day do your subscribers want complete breakdowns on the 2017 players?

Yancy Porter: “They started asking about the 2017 class on the Friday following signing day.  In essence, you get 48 hours to recover before you start all over!”

OHT: Have you seen as much talent in the state of Mississippi as you did in the 2016 class?

YP: “2016 was an unusual year. We had 11 players ranked in the top 300 prospects in the country, which had never been done before since I got in the business in 1999.  It’s normally in the five to six range, but it was more than just the top guys.  There was depth in this class along with star power.  You’ll see several first day draft picks coming from this class.”

OHT: Other than a few players, did Ole Miss land the players it wanted?

Photo courtesy of @YancyPorter
Photo courtesy of @YancyPorter /

YP: “They did but it just seems like the players they lost all happened on the same day, in signing day.  Jeffery Simmons and Shyheim Carter are really the only two they lost that they really expected to sign. It just left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.”

OHT: People get caught up in stars. When people as you about evaluation, what separates a 3-star from a 5-star

YP: “The film is what separates them.  How explosive are they?  What’s their body look like?  A lot of 3-Stars could be a DE, for example, that is 6’ 4”, 215 and looks really good on film.  You expect him to fill out and become a star one day.  A 5-Star is 6’ 4”, 260 and tearing people’s head off. They are ready made.”

OHT: What are the best and worst parts of your job?

YP: “The best part is bringing joy to the subscribers and being accurate with my predictions.  The worst part is not being accurate with a prediction.  I’m in the business of being the most accurate and informative person that follows Ole Miss recruiting.”

OHT: In your years of covering recruiting, how has it changed?

YP: “Without question, social media has changed recruiting all together.”

OHT: What is the most bizarre recruiting story you have covered at your time at the Ole Miss Spirit?

YP: “Jeffery Simmons is right up there with them on the most bizarre that I have covered. The same goes for D.J. Law.  He actually signed with OM and Utah and the Rebels just let him go on Utah’s board because they knew he wasn’t going to qualify.”

OHT: How is this current Ole Miss staff different than previous staffs?

YP: “They recognize the key people in their recruitment at any early stage and do a tremendous job of developing relationships with not only the kids but the important people in their lives.”

OHT: Are you seeing high school and community college athletes sound different when you reference Ole Miss?

YP: “Ole Miss’ name is much of a national brand now than it has been at any point since I got in the business in 1999. The answer is yes.”

OHT: Did you ever think Ole Miss would ever be this successful in recruiting?

YP: “I did, only because I have seen glimpses of how well you can recruit here at Ole Miss with Orgeron, Cutcliffe, and Nutt.  All three got really close to turning in elite classes.  Ole Miss has a great product to sell.  The facilities are now in line and the campus and people are amazing.”

Photo courtesy of @VSporto
Photo courtesy of @VSporto /

Yancy Porter is the recruiting director for the Ole Miss Spirit, a division of Scout.com. Its publisher is Chuck Rounsaville and editor is Ben Garrett. Follow them on Twitter or join the premium forums for up to date information on all things Ole Miss. We thank them for allowing Ole Hotty Toddy to partner with them in its recruiting coverage, as they are the go-to source for Ole Miss athletic news.