National Signing Day is February 4th, but before then, the final crootin weekend is here. Hugh Freeze will be bringing in five croots to experience the sights and sounds of Oxford.
3-Star Ross Donelly
The defensive tackle from Cypress, Tex. has been to Vanderbilt and Stanford and will wrap up his official visits with a trip to Oxford. At 6'2 and 300-pounds, Donelly would be looked upon to take over for Isaac Gross as a run stopper in Wommack's 4-2-5 defense. The former Rice commit was selected as a first-team all-district performer
As you might have guessed, he is a very smart prospect who uses his size well in the trenches and could easily develop into an impressive player with his frame. The Cy-Fair High School player can handle himself in one-on-one battles and would be an excellent candidate to handle the two-gap responsibilities up front.
4-Star Jaason Lewis
The Arizona State commit from Ocean Lakes High School in Virigina Beach, Va. has flirted with Ole Miss throughout the process despite being committed to the Sun Devils. Because of his versatility, it's unclear what position Lewis would play in Oxford, but I would venture to say it would be something in the realm of an H-back on offense. He also visited Florida and is being recruited up until NSD by the Gators as well.
The 6'2, 247-pound athlete is very well-rounded and can play a number of positions on either side of the ball. He possesses the size to be a difference maker on the edge on defense, but could also be a handful over the middle as a tight end in Freeze's offense. Another physical specimen who Paul Jackson would love to get in the program, the U.S. Army All-American is very nimble for his size and could be a candidate to be an impact freshman.
3-Star Michael Howard
One of the more intriguing commits in the 2015 class, Howard was recruited by a number of big-time programs. The offensive tackle from Green Cove Springs, Fla. chose the Rebels back in December and looks to be an active recruiter this weekend. As an offensive tackle for Clay High School, his impressive senior campaign caught the eye of Matt Luke and they are extremely excited to bring him in to bolster the depth up front.
The 6'6, 248-pound prospect might seem to be a tad bit slim to play on the line in the SEC, but Howard is a physical lineman who plays angry. He has an excellent motor and impressive athleticism (4.84 speed) that can level the playing field until the needed bulk has been added. Has the chance to be a steal for Freeze and Co. as his offer sheet speaks for itself (Oregon, Florida, Tennessee and Wisconsin to name a few).
3-Star Kevin Scott
The last prospect who will be visiting the Velvet Ditch this weekend is the defensive tackle from Salesian High School in Los Angeles, Calif. Despite going mostly under the radar early on in the crootin season, Scott has exploded as of late and has been offered by Miami (FL), USC and the Rebels. Chris Kiffin and Corey Batoon have been adamant about adding the big man from California and hope to make another impression on him this weekend.
An absolute animal at 6'5 and 280, Scott could be an impact freshman for the Landsharks with some technical development. Scott possesses impressive pass-rushing skills and uses his length and hands well. With some technical tweaking from Kiffin and Derrick Burgess, this would be a big-time addition to the Rush Men. As mentioned before, Batoon has hit the crootin trail hard and it is paying dividends out west.
With the quiet period starting on Sunday and signing day on Wednesday, the Rebels will be looking to close on a few more croots. Although it does not have the overall star power that the January 23rd weekend did, these visitors are coveted by many and would be welcomed additions to the New Normal at the University of Mississippi.