This weekend, somewhere between 24 and 26 players visited campus for an epic weekend of official visits. Sixteen commitments were in Oxford, and they were joined by essentially the remainder of players we're pursuing.
Of uncommitted players, the names that stick out who were on hand are:
2. C.J. Johnson
3. Tre Mason
7. Uriah Grant (who committed to the Rebs during the weekend)
Find out our thoughts about the group after the jump.
For the bit about Nick Brassell, I'd like to re-visit a very LOL-worthy point I made in August's "Top Ten Uncommitted Players" article.
We need a young dynamic receiver right now much more than we need a young lockdown corner... I've never been able to say this about an Ole Miss team as far as I can remember, but I'm not concerned with the cornerback position's future.
EPIC FAIL. Anyway, Brassell came by this weekend and apparently may not go on any other visits. The Rebels like what they heard from Brassell, and sources (I promise not recruiting sites) say that Brassell is Oxford-bound. We can be very glad about this. He adds a dimension that our current receivers don't have. He's a true deep threat with elite speed and good height. Not to get too technical here, but adding Brassell (along with Singleton) should allow us to play Melvin Harris and Ja-Mes Logan in the way they were intended to be played: possession situations. Because of this, we can also now use Grandy a good bit on underneath routes instead of forcing him to do much of the same things Harris and Logan did last year. Basically, adding two players with elite deep speed has an enormous trickle-down effect at teh wide receiver position.
I've never thought Johnson would sign with the Rebels on February 2nd. I still don't. Everyone in the world is saying that he will (including essentially Johnson himself), but I'm just not sold. Honestly..... it would be too good. Good things don't happen in droves for the Rebels. If we managed to sign the #2 ILB in the country along with the class we currently have, we would be unable to say, "well.... We are Ole Miss" on signing day. I can't see it happening. Johnson would, according to many, be in the top 4 of the linebacker rotation immediately and maybe start. Signing him would be wonderful.
Jermaine Whitehead is the last part of the trio that several sources are talking about. According to some, well really all, we're signing Brassell, C. J. Johnson, and Whitehead. If that happens on signing day, we will cap off the best class we've signed in my brief tenure following recruiting (somewhere around ten years). Whitehead is wanted by many, and our thin group of corners is in desparate need of help.
Tre Mason's visit went well. According to creepy facebook stalkers, Jeff Scott was on the plane with him from Florida to Memphis and got to speak to him about being a speed back at Ole Miss. If that's a coincidence, I'd be surprised. Mason's highlight film looks good, and the Rebels appear to lead for him after visiting. Some even say that he is in the bag. Auburn still worries me, mostly because they won the national championship behind strong running. That has to be an appeal to backs.
Many view Andrew Johnson and Gerrod Holliman (high school teammates) as a package deal. Both were committed to the Rebels for quite some time before decommitting and committing to Louisville. Andrew Johnson was quoted as being "pissed" at Louisville before his visit. Saturday night, he talked with near certainty of de-committing from the Cardinals and signing with the Rebs. After meeting with Houston Nutt one-on-one Sunday morning, Johnson was signing a different tune. In his post-visit interviews, the visit was only "ok," and the only thing he liked was hanging out with players he knew. I guess that's what happens when you're the victim of a numbers crunch. Holliman never planned to switch, and that's obvious based on his interviews.
Getting Juco DT Uriah Grant to commit to the Rebels this weekend was big since he was planning to visit Miami in the upcoming week. Grant may not be good, but he increases the likelihood of us bringing in a defensive tackle who can help as a stop-gap for the three graduating seniors.
Within reason, the weekend could not have gone better for the Rebels. The recruits had a good time, and their families got close. If we close the way that Houston Nutt has been able to during the past three years, we're looking at a phenomenal class. Keep your fingers crossed.