Ole Miss signing more highly rated in-state recruits
The Egg Bowl provides bragging rights to the victorious Mississippi school every season, but it also provides better in-state recruits.
Ole Miss has done an excellent job of recruiting under coach Hugh Freeze. In his first couple seasons, though, Freeze and the Rebels landed most of their big-time recruits outside of Mississippi.
As important as out-of-state recruiting is, the last thing Ole Miss wants to see is top players from the Magnolia State heading to Mississippi State. In 2012 and 2013, that was the case.
That changed in 2014. Over the last three years, Ole Miss has successful recruited the most top 10 players in the state of Mississippi. Here is a breakdown of top 10 Mississippi high school football players, according to 247 Sports, that have committed to Ole Miss under Freeze.
|2012||Channing Ward, DE||First|
|Isaac Gross, DE||Sixth|
|2013||Tony Conner, S||Second|
|Kailo Moore, RB||Third|
|Ryan Buchanan, QB||Fifth|
|2014||Rod Taylor, G||First|
|C.J. Hampton, S||Second|
|Markell Pack, WR||Third|
|Breeland Speaks, DT||Fourth|
|Sammie Epps, TE||Ninth|
|2015||Javon Patterson, G||First|
|Armani Linton, S||Sixth|
|Willie Hibbler, ATH||Eighth|
|2016||Benito Jones, DT||Second|
|DeKaylin Metcalf, WR||Sixth|
|Octavious Cooley, TE||Seventh|
As the chart shows, the Rebels have landed the top recruit in Mississippi three of the first four years Freeze has been at Ole Miss. Chances are high that the Rebels will make it four out of five because Mississippi’s top high school recruit, DE Jeffery Simmons, is rumored to be leaning toward Ole Miss.
Freeze has always been successful at recruiting the very top players in the state. But since 2014, the number of top 10 players from Mississippi has been there, too. Including 2016, Ole Miss has seen 11 top-10 in-state players commit to Ole Miss over the last recruiting classes. The Rebels could possibly land one more in Simmons.
Mississippi State is second with 10 top-10 Mississippi recruits since 2014. Granted, the Bulldogs aren’t far behind, but they recruited six of those players last year after rising to the No. 1 ranking in 2014.
With the way Freeze has recruited out of state — three of the Rebels’ four heralded five-star recruits in 2013 were from out of state and QB Shea Patterson and OT Gregory Little, out-of-state five stars, are part of this year’s recruiting class — Ole Miss is expected to reload in 2016 and compete for the SEC West title.