A decade ago, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was the only show in town. All the best recruits played in the nationally televised event, and dozens would select their college selections during the game. It was literally so packed full of commitments that there was a scheduled commitment announcement every few minutes.
Things have changed a bit. The Under Armour All-American game is just as big, if not a bigger draw now. There are plenty of other All-American games as well, showcasing national talent.
But the Army All-American beats on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. It's still a game full of four and five-star high school seniors who will make a difference in college.
We've compiled a list of the Ole Miss prospects who will be playing in the game. Some will end up at Ole Miss, and others won't. This game just provides an opportunity (the first one in most cases) to watch these players compete against other talented prospects and showcase their skills.
The game, which takes place on Saturday, starts at 1 ET / 12 CT and airs live on NBC.
CeCe Jefferson, DE, East Team
Five-Star according to 247Sports Composite, #5 player nationally
CeCe Jefferson is obviously the biggest fish the Rebels are still pursuing. Back in October, I wrote an article about the six players I would have liked to see Ole Miss sign. He was #1, and he still is. Jefferson has been tweeting a good bit about the Rebels and has been throwing up a landshark in photos.
I don't need to fully rehash all the great things about Jefferson. Suffice it to say, he's the number five player in the country, and there are reasons for that.
One game doesn't mean anything. All Great teams have a bad game,look at Ole Miss!— CeCe Jefferson (@cecejeferson7) January 2, 2015
Van Jefferson, WR, East Team
Four-Star according to 247Sports Composite, #134 player nationally
Jefferson is a great receiver who is currently committed to Georgia but has left the door open for Ole Miss. He is projected to be a December grad, but there is an apparent holdup that could prevent that from happening. If he does graduate early, I like Ole Miss' chances.
Van Jefferson is your typical Hugh Freeze receiver. 6'3" 180 with plenty of room on his frame to add some weight. He's a great route runner (probably due to his father being an NFL receivers coach). Jefferson would be a fantastic addition to the class, particularly if he is joined by Damarkus Lodge, another all-star receiver.
Javon Patterson, OG, West Team
Four-Star according to 247Sports Composite, #48 player nationally
I wrote about Patterson in October as well, but he has committed to the Rebels since that article. Patterson is listed as the #2 offensive guard in the nation, and it's easy to see why. He is also a December grad, so Ole Miss fans will have an opportunity to see him compete again very soon.
Jamal Peters, S, West Team
Four-Star according to 247Sports Composite, #45 player nationally
Peters lit things up in Mobile during the MS/AL All-Star game, and that was to be expected. The Mississippi State commitment is a 6'3" 200 pound safety who hits really hard (and played linebacker during most of that game). He is certainly MSU's to lose, but there's a chance Ole Miss is able to flip him. I don't think it's a particularly good chance, but he's one to keep an eye on, as the Rebels would love to add him.
Josh Smith, LB, East Team
Four-Star according to 247Sports Composite, #290 player nationally
Smith is a Vanderbilt commitment, but with the disaster that program is becoming, he has decided to take five official visits, and the Rebels have garnered one of them. Smith would pair nicely with Rebel commitment Leo Lewis as highly-touted high school linebacker prospects, but I don't know whether he or Roquan Smith is currently #1 on their linebacker list in a small class. There may not be room for both, though as Jeff mentioned, Smith is a Georgia lean.
I can't find good film on him, but Smith has offers from a number of elite programs. He would be a solid addition.
Kyle Phillips, DE, East Team
Four-Star according to 247Sports Composite, #110 player nationally
Phillips is the second best defensive ends the Rebels are pursuing. His decision, which he will announce during the game, will be either Tennessee, LSU, or Ole Miss. I've been told he will likely announce for Tennessee, but there's some uncertainty there.
At 6'4" 250, Phillips has great size for a defensive end, as he doesn't appear to be that situational. He can play during running and passing downs, and he appears to get off blocks easily (on the high school level). The Rebels aren't in dire need at defensive end, but they could certainly use some depth at the position to prepare for life without CJ Johnson (who graduates a year from now).