The Rebels heard a lot of great news yesterday regarding the future of the Rebel backfields, both offensive and defensive. Two 2012 prospects committed to the Rebels, and a highly anticipated 2011 prospect was cleared to play by the NCAA, continuing the excellent recruiting momentum Houston Nutt has had over the past year and a half in Oxford.
The first of the two 2012 commitments is Mike Hilton. Hilton's a small but stocky athlete out of Tyrone, Georgia, who could play either defensive back or halfback for the Rebels in the future. Even though he is just 5'9" tall, he moves well and has a bulkier build than his height would suggest. Here's a highlight reel of his I yanked off of the YouTubes.
Hilton also earned offers from Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Mississippi State.
I'Tavius Mathers, one of the top prospects out of the state of Tennessee - he was Tennessee's Gatorade Player of the Year last season - also committed to the Rebels yesterday. I'm impressed with this commitment, and think Mathers has a good bit of upside.
Along with his Ole Miss offer, Mathers has offers from Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Notre Dame and Kentucky. He may or may not have an Alabama offer, depending on whose recruiting services you trust the most. His tape does a fine job of showing us his size, speed, and impressive agility.
In addition to yesterday's great recruiting news, Denzel Nkemdiche, the star cornerback commitment out of Georgia who was a highly sought after late signee, was cleared by the NCAA to play this fall. Nkemdiche's academics were in question, even after the NCAA allowed him to enroll at Ole Miss (Really, I'm still not sure why they held him out of the first few practices.) but everything seems good to go.
Even though we've shared it before, let's go ahead and take another look at Nkemdiche's highlights reel because it's one of the more impressive ones I've seen. I really love watching this guy play and I hope he'll be a great one for us. He's got a nose for the ball and isn't afraid to knock the snot out of a guy.
At the very least, Denzel will be one hell of a special teams coverage player for us. Watch his tape, and then imagine him getting a full head of steam against an opposing punt returner. Sheesh.