SDS will break down all 14 SEC schools and the challenges they face in recruiting, and how they overcome them. At the end, we’ll rank them in terms of who is set up best for success–based on factors like in-state talent, recent success on the field, fan expectations and the coaching situation. We will also give the school a ‘situation’ grade (A, B, C, D, F) in each category. Some states have an A-level volume of talent, others don’t … that’s how it will work. At the end of the series we’ll do a final overall ranking.
OLE MISS REBELS
HOME STATE TALENT: “B” – As we said with Mississippi State two days ago, the Magnolia State is certainly a talent-rich state, but it has to divide its talent between two SEC schools and other SEC West poachers–and its not quite the talent producer (of course) that Texas, Florida, Georgia and even Louisiana area.
RECENT SUCCESS: “A” – Here’s the big thing with Ole Miss, recently. When it had freshmen not only playing but starring last year, that was huge for the Rebels’ program. Recruits noticed what was going on. Not only was Ole Miss playing freshmen, it won eight games, including a bowl game–while losing by 8 or less in three of its five losses. This bodes well.
FAN EXPECTATIONS: “A” – Fans are getting excited about what is going on at Ole Miss after tough 2010 and 2011 seasons. Rebels fans don’t expect national titles immediately, but they want a winning program. There is a positive buzz right now at Ole Miss..
COACHING STABILITY: “A” – So far so good for Hugh Freeze. He’s won some games and recruiting very well, and in general everybody seems to be happy with him. Recruits don’t have to worry about Freeze gets fired this fall, and that’s a huge recruiting tool.
SUM IT UP: As of summer 2014, this is a good situation to be in and its going to help recruiting. Hugh Freeze and his staff have proven they’ll play true freshmen, proven they can recruit, and proven they can compete in the SEC West and win bowl games. Things are looking up for Ole Miss, and that makes the program pretty sexy for recruits.
Editor’s note: Any reference to recruiting ratings in this series–team or individual–are to 247Sports.com’s industry composite ranking.