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Ole Miss recruiting: 4-star Willie Gay almost single-handedly beat 5-star Cam Akers

The former Reb commit put on another clinic on offense; a 4-star safety is close to a decision; Ole Miss is chasing linebackers; and a 2018 running back is making a move.

Student Sports

After taking an official visit to Michigan, four-star Willie Gay backed away from his commitment to Ole Miss. Since then, the No. 8 outside linebacker in the country has been very busy. Gay was asked to make a bit of a position change for Starkville High School as they wrapped up their 2016 campaign.

In the Yellowjackets’ final two games, Willie played running back and quarterback and rushed for 576 yards and nine touchdowns (249 yards and four touchdowns against Clinton last Friday). Yep, you read that right. Despite his gaudy numbers, it wasn’t enough to take down five-star running back and No. 1 player in Mississippi Cam Akers as Starkville fell to Clinton, 35-28.

Akers. the U.S. Army All-American and No. 2 running back in the country rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. He was also 10-for-13 passing for 159 yards and two scores. This was a heavyweight match up between potential future teammates and it did not disappoint. The 5’11, 213-pounder still favors Ohio State according to his 247 Crystal Ball (30 percent), but the Rebs are gaining ground quickly (26 percent).

As far as Willie and his recruitment goes, it is still in a wait and see mode. Scout’s Chad Simmons reports that Michigan is still “at the top of his list” with Florida, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss trailing. I personally think Ole Miss is still in it, especially if they can get the aforementioned Akers to join the 2017 class.

4-star C.J. Avery set his decision date.

Ole Miss will be looking to replace some seniority in its secondary after 2016 and Avery, the country’s No. 19 safety prospect, could go a long way in helping. The Grenada, Miss. native recently told Scout that he will make his college announcement in December.

As it stands now, Avery’s 247 Crystal Ball points towards Mississippi State (80 percent) with the Rebs trailing at 10 percent. The No. 5 player in the Magnolia State has officially visited Auburn, Clemson and Louisville and will more than likely take his final two officials to Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The 6’1, 196-pound prospect will compete in the Under Armour All-American Game in January after he graduates early in December.

Ole Miss offered a former Bama linebacker.

With Gay off the line, the Rebs only have two current 2017 linebacker commits: three- stars Josh Clarke and Jay Johnson. Hugh Freeze’s latest attempt to remedy the problem is an offer to JUCO standout Adonis Thomas.

The former four-star Under Armour All-American from Lawrenceville, Ga. signed with Nick Saban out of high school but ended up transferring to Northwest Mississippi Community College. The 6’3, 228-pounder leads the 9-1 Rangers with 58 total tackles, including 11 for loss and six sacks. Thomas, who’s rated the No. 3 JUCO inside linebacker, holds offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Penn State. Recruiting the same linebackers Saban does is a pretty solid strategy, if you ask me.

Another LB target on the Rebels’ radar is 4-star Breon Dixon.

The No. 11 inside linebacker had been committed to the Bulldogs since Christmas of 2015, but reopened his recruitment in August. He’s scheduled a visit to Ole Miss, according to Yancy Porter of

Dixon holds big-time offers from Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Cal, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee. The Under Armour All-American is leaning towards the Vols and Bulldogs, according to his Crystal Ball.

A 2018 4-star RB is transferring from IMG Academy.

Asa Martin has spent this season at IMG Academy, the same Orlando-based boarding school/football powerhouse that Shea Patterson attended. But Martin, who’s thought to be an early Ole Miss lean, announced last week that he’ll transfer back to Austin High in Alabama for his senior season.

Martin’s been sharing carries with his quarterback in a zone read system but has still managed to post impressive numbers against a daunting national schedule, toting it 49 times for 372 yards and four touchdowns while snagging 17 receptions for 235 yards. The No. 11 running back in the 2018 class holds Power 5 offers from Baylor, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and West Virginia.