A number of great players have started talking about Ole Miss as a potential school of choice, and that's gotten us here at the cup downright giddy. Obviously, not all those players will end up at Ole Miss. Not all of them will even end up visiting. This is a season of insanity though, so I figured I might continue the insanity by talking about the players who are considering Ole Miss.
Ole Miss currently has twelve commitments. They have room, without any attrition, to sign eighteen players in this class. They could certainly make room for great players, and they might simply have some players transfer out, freeing up more scholarships. For the sake of this post, I'm operating under the understanding that the coaches have six scholarships remaining.
So here are the six players I'd like to see them sign.
1. CeCe Jefferson | DE | 6'2" 250 | 5*
CeCe Jefferson is the #6 player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Ranking. The defensive end from Florida has offers from many, many schools, essentially everyone. He is believed to be a Florida lean, but uncertainty for the Gators has allowed other programs to creep in. Jefferson was on campus to see Ole Miss beat Alabama.
The way he finds and pursues the ballcarrier appears to be wonderful. He's big, but not big enough to be a tweener or anything like that. I will say that on film he doesn't appear to be super fast, even for a defensive lineman. I'm not sure he's an elite pass-rusher, though again, I really can't say with any certainty.
I do know that every school wants him. Because of this, I do too.
2. Byron Cowart | DE | 6'4" 250 | 5*
Cowart is the #4 player in the country, and like Jefferson, he has offers from everyone. He is also from Florida, and the two defensive ends have apparently befriended one another and are interested in going to the same school. Like Jefferson, Cowart is currently expected to end up at Florida. Again though, Will Muschamp's future is in doubt. That has to allow some opportunities for Ole Miss. Cowart has expressed interest in visiting Ole Miss.
Cowart, to me, looks like the physically imposing and fast defensive lineman I look for in highlight videos. He explodes off the ball, knocks his blockers back, and wreaks havoc. Combining his style with Jefferson's would give the Rebels an incredible set of defensive ends for the next three years. Obviously, it's highly unlikely that the Rebels end up with Cowart, but there appears to be at least a little bit of a chance.
3. Damarkus Lodge | WR | 6'2" 190 | 4*
Lodge is the top receiving target for the Rebels and is ranked as the #35 player in the country. The Cedar Hill, Texas product is friends with Ole Miss receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, an alum of the high school. Like Adeboyejo, Damarkus Lodge was once committed to Texas A&M. He has opened his recruitment up, and he has been tweeting about Ole Miss a lot since then. He also visited for the Alabama game.
He's tall and fast, but the thing that impresses me most is how he displays a penchant for catching contested passes. He uses his body well and shows good hands. The 247 Crystal Ball actually projects Lodge to Ole Miss, though I'm not sure how reliable that is. If Ole Miss does manage to sign him, it will be a big deal. Lodge appears to be fantastic, and the Rebels would be set up for the future at the wide receiver position.
4. Javon Patterson | OL | 6'2" 290 | 4*
Javon Patterson is the second highest rated player in Mississippi behind Ole Miss commitment Leo Lewis. He's a big offensive lineman who is listed as a tackle but may end up playing guard.
I hesitate to make any statements about offensive line tape because I can assure you I know very little about proper technique. Here's what I'll say. He stays low and is very active with his hands. At times, he's beat around the edge, but I really have no idea about the design of the particular drill. His footwork appears to be quick, and he doesn't make the common mistake among high school linemen who essentially stand up and lose leverage as soon as the ball is snapped. Ole Miss appears to lead for Patterson.
5. Joshua McMillon | LB | 6'3" 240 | 4*
The Rebels have to sign linebackers in this class, with only two current commitments (unless we're including Zedrick Woods who projects more as a husky). McMillon is the #217 player in the country and is currently committed to Alabama. He has visited Oxford a good bit since committing though, and that can't just be for no reason.
I can't find very good highlight film of him, but his offer sheet suggests he's good (and yes, I'm a big believer in that method of evaluation). He holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, among others.He's big, and that's something lacking among current Ole Miss linebackers.
6. Martinas Rankin | OT | 6'5" 300 | 3*
Rankin is the only JUCO player on this list. He is ranked as the #18 junior college player nationally, and while his ranking may not be very high, he has a strong offer sheet. Rankin holds offers from Olahoma, Texas, Ohio State, and several other prominent programs.
The longest video highlight I could find was 40 seconds, so you get none of that. Suffice it to say that the Rebels need to get more offensive tackles on campus. Rankin may be a junior college player, but he could be pivotal as a transition from Fahn Cooper to another high schooler or Christian Morris.