Get ready for some fishing puns, because Hugh Freeze reeled in another batch of prized recruits on JUCO National Signing Day.
Ole Miss landed signatures from four players on Wednesday, including two of the top six JUCO prospects in the country. No. 1 defensive tackle D.J. Jones flipped from Florida State (Jnole should be along shortly for details on the contract), No. 2 cornerback Tony Bridges completed his flip from Auburn and swagged out quarterback Chad Kelly made good on his verbal from last week. Linebacker Terry Caldwell, who turned down an offer from TCU, rounds out the class.
We're still waiting for word on five-star Davon Durant, the nation's No. 1 JUCO inside linebacker. An Arizona State verbal commit, he's still deciding between the Sun Devils, Oregon and Ole Miss. The rumor is that may not happen on Wednesday, so we'll keep you updated.
Until then, let's find out a bit more about the four that are in the boat (I told you I'd have a fishing pun for you).
Tony Bridges, CB
247 Sports: 4-star
With Senquez Golson making his exit after the Peach Bowl, Bridges is a critical addition. Rated the No. 4 overall JUCO player in the nation by 247 Sports, he'll join Tee Shepard and Kendarius Webster to give Ole Miss a trio of former four-stars competing for a starting spot opposite Mike Hilton.
How he fits in: It's no secret that Ole Miss wants to get taller at the cornerback position, and at 6'2, Bridges fits the bill. Shepard and Webster are 6'1 and 5'11, respectively, meaning they all have the ability to combat jump balls to taller receivers better than the diminutive duo of Golson and Hilton (both 5'9). Bridges also has the ability to come down into the flat and make open-field tackles, an absolute must in the Landshark's aggressive scheme.
D.J. Jones, DT
247 Sports: 4-star
The nation's No. 1 JUCO defensive tackle had been committed to Florida State since early September, but
piles of cash and women with loose morals an official visit during the Egg Bowl swayed him to the Rebels. His final three also included Alabama, so this is a major grab for Freeze and Co.
How he fits: Bryon Bennett and Lavon Hooks will be lost to graduation, which opens up some rotational time at DT next season. Robert Nkemdiche and Issac Gross will be back and former four-star Breeland Speaks, who redshirted this season, will also be in the mix. Throw in C.J. Johnson and Marquis Haynes at defensive end and next year's D-line is flat out stacked.
Chad Kelly, QB
247 Sports: 3-star
Swaggy C announced his decision last week, but made it official on Wednesday. A former Clemson player who got kicked off the team for arguing with coaches, the top-ranked JUCO dual-threat passer threw for 3,905 yards and 47 touchdowns at East Mississippi Community College this season.
How he fits in: Bo Wallace is on his way out and Freeze isn't too sure what has in redshirt sophomores DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan. If Kelly can find a way not to screw up off the field, he has a good shot at winning the starting job.
Terry Caldwell, LB
247 Sports: 3-star
Caldwell didn't hold a single offer a month ago, but ended up picking up a handful of scholarships late, most notably from TCU. Dave Wommack has said he wants to get longer at linebacker, and the 6'2 Caldwell, who piled up 122 tackles at Northeast Mississippi Community College this season, will help with that.
How he fits: Caldwell played middle linebacker at Northeast, but his speed will probably warrant a move outside for the Rebels. Ole Miss loses Serderius Bryant and Keith Lewis next season, which means Caldwell could be in line for immediate playing time in a rotation with Denzel Nkemdiche.