This is the next installment of my ideal 25 person recruiting class. Of course that's not possible at this point, due to APR sanctions, but I made the list a few weeks ago, so I'm sticking with it.
We're getting down to the nitty gritty. These are the players we're going to have to work hard for (for the most part).
10. Randall Mackey - ATH - 6'0" 190 lbs. - Mackey is a really versatile player on whom I would love to see Kent Austin and Houston Nutt get to work. I worry sometimes that we're taking too much speed and shiftiness out of the wild rebel position, but I have been told that Mackey is an incredible athlete. Certainly, it will be interesting to see a situation in which the wild rebel candidate can throw the ball like Mackey. Even if he can't take over as the premiere player in the wild rebel, we can still use him as a versatile receiver in that set who always has a chance to end up with the ball with the option to throw. I'm very happy that we have gotten Mackey to re-affirm his commitment.
9. Jemarcus Hardrick - OT - 6'7" 315 lbs. - Since I started this list, Hardrick has committed to LSU. However, his family lives in Batesville, and he went to South Panola, so I will never rule out Ole Miss. I would love to have Hardrick, as I think he can be a dominant offensive lineman in this league and can step right in when John Jerry leaves. No, I'm not predicting he'll be as good as Jerry immediately, but he will be servicable at first and has the potential to grow into a monster.
8. Carlton Martin - DE - 6'2" 260 lbs. - Martin is explosive enough out of his stance that, when teamed with fellow-four star Bryon Bennett, he is unstoppable. Since opponent have to double team Bennett (who is included earlier in this list), Martin is generally single teamed, and that means bad, bad things for opposing quarterbacks. He is able to get into the backfield quickly and end plays before they start. Let's not forget that we lose Greg Hardy, Emmanuel Stephens and Marcus Tillman this year. We will be looking for immediate replacements, and while Drummond and Rivers have the best shot, I doubt Martin will be able to redshirt when he hits campus... if he chooses Ole Miss.
7. Christian Jones - OLB - 6'4" 225 lbs. - I'm sure some of you are saying, "I've never even heard of him." Honestly, I hadn't either until I started doing this piece. But he has an Ole Miss offer and appears to be an elite player. Those two things put him on the list. He has the size that Nutt and Nix look for, with height typically reserved for defensive ends. Whether the staff thinks he projects with hands up or hands down doesn't matter. His video is ferocious, and we need players like that in our front seven. We also need immediate help at linebacker, so if the coaches want him there, he's even more vital.
6. Ronnie Vinson - 5'11" 186 lbs. - Vinson is a playmaker. Wherever we put him on the field, he will make plays. He's shifty and a good ball handler on offense. On defense, he projects to have good hip swivel and is probably quite physical. His offer sheet speaks for itself. I know we don't have much of a chance, considering that he's from Louisiana and has an LSU offer, but if there's ever a prospect who could leave Louisiana, it's one from New Orleans. There's not the same amount of pull there for LSU. Sure, a ton of people still end up there, but it's not like a smaller area such as Monroe. Players can, somewhat, make up their own minds.
Next week, I will reveal the final five. Getcha popcorn ready.