Published August 12, 2010 - 3:47pm
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A quick glance over the Ole Miss football roster, shows 16 players from the great football state of Florida. Like many other SEC teams and schools from other conferences, recruiting in Florida is a big key to success. The amount of quality football talent coming out of Florida each year will blow you away. We’ll work on another article with deatils about this talent pool.
For now, simply take a look at this list of the top 120 recruits in the Southeast for 2011 and notice that 49 of them are from Florida. If you want to put that in a pie chart, that’s 40.8 percent of the top tier players. Eight other states (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina) make up the remaining 59.2 percent.
Out of those 120 top football recruits for 2011, Ole Miss has already received commitments from 2 players out of Florida:
59. Gerrod Holliman, DB, Miami (Fla.) Southridge (6-0, 180). A ball-hawk who recorded 75 tackles and 4 interceptions in ’09. Committed to Ole Miss.
113. Andrew Johnson, CB, Miami (Fla.) Southridge (5-10, 170). Strong in coverage or on the blitz. Committed to Ole Miss.
According to this article of the Top 10 Uncommitted Players Recruited by Ole Miss (written by Juco All-American on Red Cup Rebellion), they are in the running for 4 additional Florida players:
The Rebels are sitting on fifteen commitments for the 2011 football signing class. I know that we’ll probably end up signing 28 players and seeing which ones qualify, but assuming that we only sign 25 (since that’s how many can go on scholarship each year), we’re left with ten spots. I’ve been asked about recruiting by several people and started compiling a list the other day of who I’d like to see us sign. What follows is a list of the ten players I want, listed alphabetically, that Ole Miss has at least a decent shot to add in February.
DT Terry Bell – 6’5″ 270 lbs. – Lakeland High School – Lakeland, FL
Ponder this. Our entire two deep at defensive tackle this season will graduate (or at least finish eligibility) in May of 2011. We have to find replacements for the phenomenal defensive tackles that all leave after this final season of eligibility. Bell could be one of the answers to that problem. He was rumored to be moments away from committing to the Rebels a few weeks ago, and pulling him out of Florida would be a fantastic get at this time. Bell has offers from many schools, namely Auburn, Florida State, and Georgia. He has attended camp at Ole Miss.
HB Mike Blakely – 5’9″ 194 lbs. – Manatee High School – Bradenton, FL
Blakely would be an elite signee out of Florida, and while I don’t think we’re likely to get him, that’s not the purpose of this list. This list discusses prospects that have shown some legitimate interest in Ole Miss that could really improve an already good class. Blakely is the type of halfback we don’t seem to have on roster: a flashy runner with great speed who can make defenders miss. He has a Florida offer, so I wouldn’t count on us having a chance with him, but you never know with that area of the country. We’ve seen our stock rise to Floridians, and I guess it could happen with Blakely.
DE Anthony Chickillo – 6’3″ 226 lbs. – Alonso High School – Tampa, FL
Everyone in the country wants Chickillo. He sports offers from many schools, the best of which are probably Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, and Virginia Tech. Recently, Chickillo visited Ole Miss with a group of Floridians and told ESPN that he absolutely loved the campus and the atmosphere in Oxford. Looking at his offer list, we’re certainly a long shot, but getting him to campus is the first step, and that apparently went quite well. Defensive end recruiting for this year scares me a good bit, since I am a large proponent of replacing graduates with freshmen, and we don’t look to be in on many ends to replace the huge loss of Kentrell Lockett. Yes, we have a lot of young ends that are promising, but we need to find at least one more defensive end who can come in and really solidify the unit.
QB Phillip Ely – 6’1″ 185 lbs. – Plant High School – Tampa, FL
When I first heard that I should keep an eye on Ely (I knew before you did because I have sources and you don’t. That makes me much cooler than you.), I thought two things. First of all, Ely’s game looks pretty good; He’s not incredible, but he’s better than average in terms of film. But equally as important, Plant is a quarterback production mill into which we need to get. Robert Marve, Aaron Murray, and now Ely are three consecutive four-star quarterback recruits who have played there. Sure, Marve ended up being not-so-good, but there were good things about his game. The overarching point here is that the staff has done a good job of getting Florida’s scraps, but we need to get a few more legit players from there to increase our chances of finally being able to actually sign someone the University of Florida wants. We already steal recruits from Miami and Florida State, but we can’t seem to get over the hurdle that the Gators pose. In terms of the position, I don’t think I’m shocking anyone when I say that we need quarterbacks. Ely is rumored to be heavily leaning towards LSU, but I would guess (from having basically no knowledge whatsoever) that his decision rests on whether potential LSU quarterback Zach Lee decides to sign a contract to play professional baseball. If Lee does that, Ely’s a tiger. If not, he might be a Clemson Tiger or an Ole Miss Rebel.
Three of these four players are ranked on the previous list:
22. Mike Blakely, RB, Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee (5-9, 194). A shifty, elusive runner with great vision, he had 1,400 yards rushing and 35 receptions in ’09. Considering offers from Auburn, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Southern Cal and Georgia.
74. Anthony Chickillo, DE, Tampa (Fla.) Alonso (6-3, 226). A strong pass rusher with a great motor. Florida and Miami lead Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and South Florida.
81. Phillip Ely, QB, Tampa (Fla.) Plant (6-1, 186). Throws a tight, crisp ball and throws it well on the run. Passed for 1,860 yards and 20 TDs in ’09. Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Wake Forest lead Arizona State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Rutgers, South Florida and Vanderbilt.