[ED: Work has been rough today. I'll add YouTubes later.]
Mississippi had perhaps the best crop of high school wide receivers per capita this past year, with three of the top twenty Rivals.com receiver prospects calling the Magnolia State home. All of them fit the mold of legitimate D1A ball players in that they are fast, sure-handed, and big-bodied. If the Rebels were to boost the future of their passing offense this offseason, the signing of those prospects was crucial.
Of course, that's easy for us to say, because that's exactly what Houston Nutt and company did. The signings of Nickolas Brassell, Tobias Singleton, and Donte Moncrief have given the depth at wideout a huge boost which should pay off significant divideds in the future, if not even immediately. TJ Worthy and Collins Moore. as supplements to the Mississippians, are as fine a lagniappe as I could have asked for.Donte Moncrief is a guy who, while a coveted athlete, Ole Miss fans didn't seem to get as geeked about as they did with Singleton and Brassell. That's likely due to Moncrief's early commitment which wavered only slightly a week before signing day with a visit to West Virginia. Despite offers from Oklahoma, UCLA, and Mississippi State, among others, Moncrief was a Rebel throughout his entire recruitment process. From Raleigh, Mississippi, Moncrief is 6'2" and just over 200 pounds, making him the biggest prospect of the class. Despite his size though, he has breakaway speed and good hands. Of the three Mississippi wideouts, Moncrief has, per this bloggeur's opinion, the best chance of seeing the field early due to his bulk.
Tobias "Manning" Singleton is the two-time Clarion-Ledger Metro Player of the Year out of Madison Central High School (Go Jags). At MC, he lined up at wideout, cornerback, returner, and took snaps out of the wildcat or wildjag or whatever Coach Bobby Hall called it. He was truly an all-purpose threat, but will more than likely see the field as a wideout in Oxford. He has long arms, good hands, and a great top end speed. He does not accelerate as well as one may imagine, and he certainly isn't a shifty player, but he is fast. With a bit more weight on his frame, Tobias could become a true deep threat for the Rebels.
[Aside: we at the Cup have it on good authority that the assault charges brought against Tobias Singleton will be dismissed due to them consisting primarily of, as lawyers put it, "punget bullshit." We are the of the believe-it-when-you-see-it mold, but we do trust our sources.]
Singleton and Nickolas Brassell are the two prospects which I have actually seen on a field together competing against one another. In the Mississippi Class 6A North Regional Final, The Tigers of South Panola met the Jaguars of Madison Central in Madison's Jaguar Stadium. It wasn't close, as the Tigers beat the snot out of the Jags on the way to their four billionth state title (What do people in Batesville feed their children? Scrap metal sprinkled with HGH?), but it did provide all in attendance with a pretty fantastic opportunity to see two future Rebels sqare off against one another.
And I don't mean that in a "one team vs. the other" type way either; I mean that Tobais Singleton, at corner, covered Nick Brassell at wide receiver and vice versa. Both kept up with each other, both made good defensive plays (Singleton had a pick over Brassell, in fact), both did a great job of locating the ball in the air, and both used their hands well. It's no secret why these two were some of the most coveted prospets in Mississippi in seeing their athletic versatility alone. Brassell seemed to me to possess soft hands and an unstoppable motor. He's the smallest of the three Mississippi receivers, but he's (by a hair) the fastest.
There's talk of Brassell being moved to cornerback at the next level. I would be fine with that, seeing as how he was adept on defense as well in high school, but the guy could be real offensive threat for the Rebels.
As metaphorical icing on this metaphorical cake, Alabama prospects Collins Moore and TJ Worthy also signed LOI's with Ole Miss, rounding out the wideout class with five strong prospects. Moore is rated as the 3rd best wide receiver prospect in Alabama by Rivals and the 10th Yellowhammer State prospect overall. He's a taller prospect, just like the rest of the class (Brassell is the "shortest" receiver the Rebels signed at an even 6'), and was heavily recruited later in the offseason by Kentucky and Southern Miss. There are some concerns that he may not qualify, but that remains yet to be seen. His Alabama counterpart, TJ Worthy, is a guy who committed to Ole Miss early and stuck with his commitment. I've seen little tape on him, but I do know that he has a fine frame upon which to build at 6'2" 180lb.
This is easily the best single position group Ole Miss has recruited in one season ever since I began following 'crootin. Out of these five wideouts, one has got to imagine that there's some all-SEC talent amongst them somewhere. Right?