Signing day is Wednesday, February 1, meaning that this weekend marks the absolute last weekend a high school prospect can take an official visit before they're allowed to send in their LOIs. As such, this is naturally a big recruiting weekend for any BCS school, with Ole Miss being no exception.
According to Scout.com, the following players are listed to visit Oxford this week.
- Sheldon Dawson, Defensive Back, Memphis
- Marion Grice, Halfback, Blinn CC
- Justin Taylor, Halfback, Atlanta
- Robert Conyers, Offensive Tackle, Miami
- Cory Batey, Wide Receiver, Nashville
- Quintavius Burdette, Halfback, Senatobia
- Kendrick Singleton, Glen Saint Mary, Florida
- Cody Core, Wide Reciever, Auburn
- Dexter Holmes, Wide Receiver, Iowa Falls
Of that group, Dawson is the guy the coaches are seeking the services of the most. He's a bigger, quicker defensive back with an offer list boasting more than a few SEC schools. He is the high school teammate of current Rebel commit Jaylon Walton, but doesn't seem to be too swayed by a desire to play with Walton. Still, staying close to home might mean a lot to him, considering that Dawson was a longtime Memphis commit.
Running back Marion Grice seems to be deciding whether he wants to play in the SEC or the Pac12, with Ole Miss, State, and Tennessee competing against Arizona and Arizona State. Also in the mix are TCU and Houston. I'm not really sure how he is leaning, but I hear that Houston might be the team to beat with him. He was once committed to Texas A&M, for whatever that's worth.
Robert Conyers is an interesting name on the list. He's already committed to Ole Miss, so he's just taking his official visit because he's allowed to. He'll be both spending time getting to know Oxford and Ole Miss a little better, as well as serving as a "player recruiter" or sorts, because that's what these guys always do in that situation, right?
Not listed are linebacker Richie Brown and defensive end and current Mississippi State commit AJ Jefferson. Speculation abounds as to whether or not the two will make it to Oxford or not, with most sources pointing towards "no". However, there's some word that one, if not both, could make it to town this weekend. Personally, I'm not betting on either, but it'd be nice to know that this new coaching staff is still working hard on Mississippi's few remaining prospects.
Trae Elston, a cornerback out of Oxford, Alabama, is another guy to watch. He visited Ole Miss recently, and was scheduled to take visits to Stillwater and Baton Rouge this weekend, but whether those will actually take place or not remains to be seen. He's a guy our secondary could use right away. If he comes to Oxford this weekend, it would have to be unofficial.
And then there's Cordarrelle Patterson. Who knows what that guy is going to do? Every school recuiting him - LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia, and Ole Miss - seems to think he's a heavy lean towards them, and every school seems to think he's taking an unofficial visit to their campus this weekend. If he shows up in Oxford, gravy. If not, oh well. I think we've got a better-than-decent shot at the guy, but I'm never good at predicting where a Juco guy will wind up.
Now, before you go all gettin' your hopes up like we are wont to do, let me come right out and say that this will not be a "good" recruiting class. It will no doubt have good players, but it won't be what it could have been. While we like to think that we're better off with him in the long run, bringing Hugh Freeze in to replace Houston Nutt well after the season was over - a 2-10 season, mind you - meant that these coaches were going to have a real uphill battle to fight on the recruiting front. Considering the possibilities at this point, I'm thrilled with their progress. Even getting some of these guys to take a visit counts as a small recruiting victory in my view, considering just how poorly off we were just a few weeks ago. Coach Freeze is doing some good work with recruits, y'all. It just may not be so readily apparent in 2012.
As per the usual, the Cup will have whatever it is you've come to expect out of us during National Signing Day coverage wise. We're workin' on it, at least.