Drake Davis has been a name that Ole Miss fans have come to know this fall. The 6’4, 215-pound wide receiver has been an electrifying playmaker for IMG Academy (Fla.) this season catching passes from Ole Miss commit Shea Patterson and making opponent’s special teams look silly with his track speed and physical style of play in the return game.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Sanjay Kirpilani, Davis was asked how his recruitment has been going and he said that there are two teams that are standing out to him at the moment: LSU and Ole Miss. Davis mentioned other schools that will possibly get an official visit from him but he knows "for a fact" he will be in Oxford to see the Rebels take on the LSU Tigers. One would think with the chemistry he has developed over the course of the season with Patterson, this is a no brainier, but you never know in the world of crootin.
It has been no mystery this season that the two are extremely close and could very well be a package deal. And let’s be real, who wants to go to LSU and catch two passes a game and just play with your back to the play for 60 minutes because you’re blocking all game? For Ole Miss fans, swiping away a Baton Rouge kid from the clutches of the Mad Hatter would be oh so sweet after he initially stole Lafayette's Golden Child, Jeremy Liggins, back in 2012 (RIP Restaurant Irie). This could very well turn out to be, as our esteemed editor in chief Jeff Gray so eloquently referred to it as, a "Reverse Big Lig". Right now, Davis has 654 all-purpose yards and five receiving touchdowns.
Rebels offer three from Michigan
With the 2016 crootin cycle heading into the stretch run, Ole Miss is taking breaks here and there to look at the 2017 class. This past week, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, Hugh Freeze and staff made some offers to a trio of Michigan high schoolers, one being a 2018 prospect. JaRaymond Hall, Marquan McCall and Antjuan Simmons all received the fantastic news from the Rebs that they have been extended offers.
Hall, a four-star 6’5, 255-pound offensive tackle from Oak Park, Michigan was the first of three to receive an offer. So far the 2017 tackle has received offers from big-time programs Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee. The Oak Park High School youngin’ already possesses elite heighth that pairs well with his strength. It’s easy to say that Hall has some areas to improve but that’s because he’s in the class of 2017. It’s very early in the process but as of right now, the hometown Wolverines hold the edge according to 247Sports Crystal Ball. Look for Hall to be a big-time prospect very soon.
The second 2017 offer that was extended was to Antjuan Simmons, a three-star running back and outside linebacker from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The 6’1, 205-pound athlete has an extensive offer sheet highlighted by names such as Notre Dame, Michigan State, LSU, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee. Needless to say, Simmons is coveted by many on the crootin trail and is being recruited to be an immediate difference maker at the second level for Dave Wommack. The Ann Arbor Pioneer High School star is an impressive two-way specimen that does it all for the Pioneers as he has run for 746 yards this season with 12 touchdowns.
The final of the trio is four-star 2018 offensive guard Marquan McCall. The 6’3, 280-pound guard from Oak Park, Michigan has early offers from Michigan, Ole Miss and Tennessee. McCall is teammates with Hall and helps to anchor an impressive offensive front for the Knights. McCall is awfully strong for a youngster and helped OPHS make the playoffs this season. He is definitely a name to keep an eye on in the next year because of Ole Miss’ extreme need for talent up front.
Starkville star receiver still looking
Out of all the impressive visitors that made the trip to Oxford, Miss. last weekend for the Rebels’ big win over the Aggies, the one who doesn’t get enough publicitiy is four-star wide receiver A.J. Brown. The 6’1, 220-pound stud from Starkville, Miss. has been a man on a mission since returning home from Nike’s The Opening in Oregon this summer. Brown has collected 923 yards and eight total touchdowns for the Starkville Yellowjackets this season. The prospect has had five games with over 100 yards receiving, including a 192 yard, 16 catch performance against Oxford High School.
Most think that Brown is a lock to Mississippi State due to proximity but Brown came to Oxford with an open mind and really seemed to enjoy the atmosphere. He has been to camp in Oxford and also seems to have struck up a friendship with Shea Patterson. Everyone knows that receivers need a quarterback to get them the football and I think everyone else also knows that Mr. Patterson is the best in the business. In my opinion, I think it is a three team race for Brown’s services headlined by Mississippi State, Ole Miss and the wild card Alabama.
5-star running back listening to Rebel pitch
Another offer that was extended outside of the normal radius of the Rebels’ net was to the great state of New Jersey for five-star running back Kareem Walker. The 6’0, 208-pound Ohio State commit is the back that Ole Miss fans have been searching for and he has said that he will in fact visit Oxford before making his final decision. Walker reminds me of Melvin Gordon but bigger. They both rock the trademark dreadlocks but the running style similarities are uncanny. Walker is a complete back who can receive out of the backfield and can also mix it up in between the tackles.
The Gordon comparison comes to fruition when you see Walker make his initial cut into the hole and then when he makes his decision at the second level. Another thing to go with Walker’s aggressive run style is his paralyzing straight arm that he delivers to opposing tacklers. He is not one to shy away from contact and is decisive when making his cuts and getting north and south. All of this is affirmation that Derrick Nix and Co. need to put on the full-court press to try and flip this guy to make the pledge to the Rebs. The DePaul Catholic star has amassed 3,806 yards in his high school career with 49 touchdowns, 760 yards and seven touchdowns this season.