Hattiesburg will play host to some of the finest high school football players from the Yellowhammer and Magnolia states this Saturday. The 29th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game will be held at M.M. Roberts Stadium at noon CT and can be seen on Raycom Network on these channels. This is the first time the game will be played in the Magnolia State (it's usually hosted in Montgomery at the Cramton Bowl), which could be a good omen for a Mississippi team that hasn't won since 2007. It also helps that this year's squad is particularly loaded with talent.
A lot of that talent, by the way, is considering coming to Ole Miss next year. Five Rebel commits (one of which is suiting up for the Alabama team) and three other serious targets will be taking the field on Saturday. Before the game kicks off, let's take a look at each of those prospects.
(You can check out the full roster for both teams right here.)
5-star DL Benito Jones
The big man from Waynesboro, Miss. has been committed to the Rebels since August of 2014 and hasn't wavered. The 6'1, 275-pounder has the size and strength to make an immediate impact on the interior of the D-line, where he'll help fill in for departing senior Woodrow Hamilton. And hey, he can even catch Robert Nkemdiche-style touchdown passes!
4-star WR DeKaylin Metcalf
The Oxford Monster has been committed since 2013 but told Chris Kirschner of SEC Country that he plans to take official visits to Alabama and Auburn. Despite this scare, the Ole Miss legacy is expected to join current freshmen and former four-stars Van Jefferson and DaMarkus Lodge to bolster one of the best young wide receiver corps in the country.
4-star TE Octavious Cooley
Mr. Cooley has been a nightmare for defenses all season and he looks to be the same this weekend for the Alabama squad. Laurel's top pass catcher and Ole Miss commit is too physical for corners and too quick for most linebackers. Cooley, who stands 6'3, 220-pounds, would definitely bring some physicality to the position that Evan Engram doesn't.
3-star OL Eli Johnson
The long-haired, spec-sporting lineman from Oxford is another long-standing Ole Miss commit. Johnson, who's been starting for the Lafayette High varsity team since his freshman year, has all of the intangibles and smarts you need and figures to stay inside at center or guard for Matt Luke's bunch.
Eli Johnson with the seal, Octavious Cooley with the kickout pic.twitter.com/xxFUIiWbOY— Barton Simmons (@bartonsimmons) December 9, 2015
3-star RB Jarrion Street
The lone Ole Miss commit on the Alabama team ran wild through the Yellowhammer State this season, earning all-state honors at Hewitt-Trussville. Whether he'll keep toting the rock in Oxford is up in the air: some Ole Miss coaches think the 6'1, 195-pounder could make a fine linebacker.
4-star DE Jeffery Simmons
The top-ranked player in the state of Mississippi, Simmons is one of the biggest uncommitted targets on Hugh Freeze's crootin board. The Army All-American had over 100 tackles as a defensive end his senior year and, thanks to his rare bend of size and speed, would be a suitable replacement up front for Robert Nkemdiche. Street has shown interest in Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Bama (the 247 Crystal Ball has Ole Miss and State tied at 44 percent), though I personally think the Rebels are in very good position for him.
Jeffery Simmons crashing off the edge here pic.twitter.com/671ws6kmVI— Barton Simmons (@bartonsimmons) December 9, 2015
4-star DB Nigel Knott
One of the more interesting targets for Ole Miss in 2016, Knott has been a mystery so far. The defensive back from Madison, Miss. has thrown around schools like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Florida State and even Oregon. Despite being an Ole Miss legacy, my gut tells me that Mr. Knott wants to get out of the state. He's a tremendous athlete that might need a year or two in a college weight room before he can really shine, but the stuff you can't teach is all there.
Rivals100 DB Nigel Knott (in the obnoxious neon) in coverage here. https://t.co/h3eRTz97Tc— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) December 9, 2015
4-star WR A.J. Brown
The Starkville native has consistently mentioned the two in-state schools and Alabama when discussing who he likes. Overcoming the hometown pressure will be a tall order, but A.J. has made some serious hints that he's seriously considering Oxford. He tweeted earlier this week that he could be teammates next year with Rebels commit D.K. Metcalf and he told The Clarion-Ledger that he regularly receives phone calls from his favorite player, Laquon Treadwell.
Top100 WR AJ Brown pic.twitter.com/cTtNDYSYmn— Barton Simmons (@bartonsimmons) December 8, 2015
Ole Miss could very well end up with at least two of the three four-star targets listed above. Add them to the already elite class that Hugh Freeze and Co. have on deck and you could be looking at a top five class. February is just around the corner, y'all.