It sure doesn't make up for the loss of Drew Richmond, but Ole Miss has added three-star defensive tackle Ross Donelly. The 6'2, 300-pound tank from Cypress, Tex. announced his decision on Monday via Twitter (Well, he actually committed to "olé miss," but we're assuming that means Oxford).
Donelly elected to bring his talents to Oxford and be that anchor in the trenches for defensive line coach Chris Kiffin. The two-time all-district performer from Cy-Fair High School will be counted on to step in once Isaac Gross and Robert Nkemdiche have moved on and handle the two-gap responsibilities up front.
As a former Rice commit, the process has been long and winding for Donelly as he took visits to Stanford, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss before ultimately deciding with the Rebels. He had also shown heavy interest in SMU. Along with that list of impressive programs, he also had offers from Northwestern, Fresno State and Texas Tech. As evidenced by his offer list, it is no secret that Donelly is a very intelligent student-athlete.
How he fits in
The defensive tackle from the Lone Star State plays with great discipline, low pad level and a very high motor. He utilizes his tenacity in the pursuit of ball carriers when shedding blocks and moving laterally and can disrupt passing lanes with a very sneaky explosive first step. Also, he shows a definitive mean streak once he arrives at the football and is sure to make a statement.
He's a very intriguing prospect who will be very hungry to get in and compete right away. More quickness and more strength will develop over time and will put Donelly in a very good position to be the next All-American nose guard at Ole Miss.
With the addition of Donelly, the Rebels now have two 300-pounders (D.J. Jones) to man the front of the defense for years to come. I expect Donelly to benefit from a redshirt season in order to get in top shape before being able to challenge to make Kiffin's wall of freshmen All-American Rush Men.