By all accounts, the already strong 2013 Rebel recruiting class will finish as one of the better classes in modern Ole Miss football history. Already signed are prospects like halfback Mark Dodson, one of the top players from the state of Tennessee; tight end Christian Morgan, a highly sought-after prospect out of Texas; and defensive tackle Lavon Hooks, who is rated by some as the top junior college prospect in America. But it's what is potentially yet to come that have Rebel fans excited. Here is a look at some prospects of note still being pursued by the Rebels coaches and our take on the chances they'll commit to Ole Miss.
DE Robert Nkemdiche, Grayson (GA) High School - You all know who he is, and you all know just how much his signing with Ole Miss could mean for the program. The consensus top player in high school football and younger brother of standout freshman linebacker and Ole Miss fan favorite Denzel Nkemdiche has been very impressive at this week's practices for the Under Armour High School All-America game (Friday on ESPN at 5:00 PM) as reported by SB Nation's Recruiting Analyst and Editor, Bud Elliot.
[T]he nation's top prospect is an incredible physical specimen. He is so well put together and moves like a prospect much smaller.
On one play, the opposing QB dropped a shotgun snap, and Nkemdiche had pushed his blocker so far in to the backfield that the QB didn't even have room to reach down for the football.
By all reports, he is that rare combination of speed, size, strength, and athleticism that warrants his hype. He has named LSU and Ole Miss as his leaders (after dropping his Clemson commitment and entertaining overtures from Georgia, Alabama, and others), but I for one would be shocked to see him not sign with Ole Miss. There is just too much going for Ole Miss right now in Nkemdiche's recruitment, not the least of which are his family ties to the program.
Wide Receiver Laquon Treadwell, Crete Monee (IL) High School - The nation's top wide receiver per many recruiting services is also doing very well at the Under Armour practices this week per Bud Elliot.
[Treadwell] is probably the best receiver at the event. At 6'3 and a solid 195 pounds, Treadwell ... is the total package. He has the length and strength to get off the jam, the quickness to get separation in tight space, long speed, and leaping ability to go up and get the football.
I am also fairly confident of Treadwell's impending Rebel commitment. He has named Ole Miss as a leader in his recruitment and has developed a good relationship with Nkemdiche throughout his recruitment.
@redcuprebellion they seem to be getting along swimmingly twitter.com/TheGalatzanato…— matt galatzan (@TheGalatzanator) January 2, 2013
Considering that the only school that those two are mutually demonstrating interest in is Ole Miss, such a friendship would lend some credence to the idea that they will commit to the Rebels together.
Safety Tony Conner, The University of South Panola (You're welcome, Batesvillians) - The top player in the state of Mississippi has narrowed his choices to Alabama and Ole Miss among a handful of others, but as 247 is reporting ($) his other suitors will find it tough to beat out Ole Miss. With so many players from South Panola having played in Oxford, we Rebels almost feel entitled to their signed LOIs, and while I disagree with that sentiment in itself I do agree with the suspicions of most that Conner will swap South Panola's red and blue uniforms for Ole Miss' next fall.
Quarterback Jeremy Johnson, Carver (AL) High School - The long time Auburn commitment, who has the size (but not yet the athletic ability) to warrant comparisons to Cam Newton, is reportedly interested in Ole Miss. While the hiring of Gus Malzhan seems to all but ensure his solidified commitment to the Tigers, he will take a visit with his family to the Ole Miss campus in two weeks.
Cornerback David Kamara, Grayson (GA) High School - A high school teammate of Robert Nkemdiche, Kamara has recently narrowed his choices down to LSU, Ole Miss, and Clemson. He will officially visit Ole Miss in two weeks. I doubt he signs with our Rebels, but he is interested in the program.
The Rebels have also earned a commitment for the 2014 class in Ronald Walker, a 6'3" 190 pound receiver/defensive back prospect out of Jackson's Callaway High School.
Hugh Freeze and staff have proven to be tremendous recruiters. I'm not sure if they just understand recruiting in a way that their predecessors didn't (okay, I'm being diplomatic - there is a lot that they understand in a way that the previous clown car cavalcade did not) or if it's just their coaching styles and personalities, but they've combined their presence with the offerings that Ole Miss already has for college football recruits to create a pretty powerful draw to their program. If they can continue to reach the postseason and improve in the wins column over the next few seasons, we could potentially be having such a recruiting discussion as this one every year.