Yesterday was National Signing Day for College Football. I did not get into College Football recruiting much this year, so last night when I looked at the top ranked classes, I was in for a bit of a surprise. #1 by most is Alabama, no surprise there, followed in many different orders by the other usual suspects like Ohio State, Florida, LSU, and Notre Dame. But the one school that stood out as a surprise to me was Ole Miss. The same Ole Miss that had a record of 7-6 last season. I saw them ranked anywhere from #2 to #7 on different recruiting sites, so I had to know why.
As I dug into their class I noticed that there are three big dogs. The #1 rated OL prospect in Laremy Tunsil, The #1 rated WR prospect in Laquon Treadwell, and the #1 overall rated prospect in the 2013 Class, Robert Nkemdiche. The Rebels also landed nine Four Star recruits including Dual Threat QB Ryan Buchanan, 6’3 WR Quincy Adeboyejo, and big run stopping DT Lavon Hooks.
The big shocker on paper is obviously Robert Nkemdiche. As the #1 rated recruit in the nation, he could basically hand-pick any school he wanted to go to. So, why Ole Miss? Well, Robert’s older brother Denzel will be a Junior LB on the team. All indications are that Robert simply wanted to play with his brother. Robert’s impact will most definitely be felt on the field this and many seasons after, but he has already helped the Ole Miss football team tremendously. I have always heard that the best recruiting tool is other players, especially ones that are in the same class. These guys build relationships playing in camps, all-star games, and taking visits with each other. It appears that Robert sold the Rebels very well, and led them to one of the best draft classes in the nation.
Now, this is all great, but as we know, the game is not won on paper. Head Coach Hugh Freeze is now responsible for turning this class of prospects into a National Championship contender in the very strong SEC. Your guys can have all the stars in the world, but the game is played and won on the field. One thing is for sure, Freeze now has the talent to work with, will he turn all that talent into wins? Stay tuned.