USA TODAY Sports
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will be breaking down the pieces that made this signing class arguably the best Ole Miss signing class in school history. We'll throw in highlight videos whenever we can find them and will try to examine what we see with our biased, untrained eyes. With media and sports fans all over the country talking about Ole Miss recruits, it is our hope to generate some discussion about those recruits who didn't have four or five stars next to their names. This installment will look at the big men up front.
Daronte Bouldin - 3* - 6'6", 310 - Other notable offers: State
A Canton, Mississippi native who committed early to the Rebels and never wavered in his choice, Bouldin is a potential redshirt candidate who could add depth early at, presumably, guard before "graduating" to tackle. The video below has only a snippet of actual valuable material with which to work, and even then it's during a practice against woefully undersized Canton High Tiger teammates, but what is apparent immediately is Bouldin's size. He's undeniably every bit of the 6'6" he is billed as. He also uses his hands well, but will likely need time in an SEC weight room to improve his strength and agility.
Austin Golson - 4* - 6'6", 284 - Other notable offers: Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, Clemson, and many others
One of the bigger surprises of this recruiting class, Golson decommitted from Florida State before committing to Ole Miss on National Signing Day. Named an Army All-American, Golson is a consensus top-10 offensive tackle prospect for the 2013 class. He has great footwork and sticks with his blocks very well. He can get out of his stance rather quickly, which is something that is not as common among high school linemen. I expect him to see immediate time in the guard rotation, and perhaps find himself in the depth chart at right tackle, where most would expect him to eventually win the starting job in a couple of seasons.
These highlights are from his sophomore year (Horray YouTube!) but a lot of his positive attributes, including his agility, are demonstrated fairly well here.
Davion Johnson - 3* - 6'4", 315 - Other notable offers: State
One of the first (if not the absolute first - I cannot recall) commitments in this class, Davion Johnson is a big-bodied prospect out of Byhalia who is liable to wind up at guard. He is also likely to redshirt, as he'll need to trim some fat while developing more SEC-ready strength. Highlights of Johnson are virtually nonexistent on YouTube, but here's an interview of him from Jeremy Lin (good to see that he's into Ole Miss recruiting):
And here's a two-year-old, who is also named Davion Johnson, playing dice:
Laremy Tunsil - 5* - 6'6", 295 - Other notable offers: All of them. Literally, he could have signed wherever he wanted.
The consensus top tackle prospect in the 2013 class, Laremy Tunsil is an elite pass blocker who should figure to be a part of the tackle rotation from day one in Oxford. He has it all: footwork, flexibility, quickness, size, the wingspan of an albatross, and the ability to pull and block in space. As with any high school offensive lineman, he'll have to put in a lot of work on his strength to be SEC ready - even Michael Oher struggled as a freshman if you'll remember - but he is as ready a prospect as any offensive lineman the Rebels have signed.
Tunsil, along with Golson, has drawn the most raised eyebrows, baseless accusations, and ire from rival fans and institutions. "OLD MI$$ CHEETED" and whatnot. Who knew that there are adult college football fans who feel entitled, on behalf of their alma mater, to an LOI signed by a high school prospect that is most likely a complete stranger to them?
Regardless, if folks are mad for having "lost" Tunsil, Golson, and others to the Rebs, then you know we're clearly recruiting talented players. In all, I'm quite pleased with this offensive line class, in that I can see it adding depth immediately and serving as a foundation for offensive lines of the future.