Welp, Crootapalooza '16 is officially in the books. The 22 Ole Miss prospects seemed to enjoy themselves for the most part and there were totally no strippers or loaner cars or effigies of Pat Forde burned with malice. Just cake. Lot's of cake.
There was a bit of bad news. Four-star wideout Mykel Jones and three-star defensive tackle Marcel Southall both skipped out on the trip, which isn't particularly surprising. We've been saying for the last week or so that Jones would probably end up at A&M and Southall is likely a Texas/Oklahoma battle. It also wasn't surprising that four-star cornerback Carlos Becker cut Ole Miss from his list, though it was a bit odd that he did so on Instagram while he was apparently still on campus in Oxford.
Let's get caught up with some other updates that came out of the weekend, shall we?
4-stars Pennamon and Knott are announcing on Monday
Pennamon is a running back who's been committed the Rebs since the summer but has taken visits to both Tuscaloosa and College Station within the last few weeks.
"My favorite official visit has been here at Oxford, but A&M is coming after me extremely hard," Pennamon told Scout.com as he was leaving Ole Miss on Sunday. "They're telling me I'll have an opportunity to play quickly and make an impact."
Pennamon is also been heavily recruited by Bama, which is looking to replace Derrick Henry.
"I feel like they're making me a high priority," Pennamon told AL.com last week. "They just lost two guys and they need a couple of guys. The opportunity is there."
Pennamon, who said he talked to both Bama and A&M during his visit to Oxford, tweeted this on Sunday night.
I will make my decision tomorrow bit until then I am done with recruiting thank you and have a blessed rest of day— Jack Frost ❄️⛄️ (@mavnation_blu) January 31, 2016
Knott, a cornerback, is also scheduled to announce on Monday, with Bama and State joining Ole Miss in his top three. His mom, at least, seems evenly divided between the three.
4-star WR Brown talked with Ole Miss baseball
Well this is interesting:
AJ Brown will talk to Mike Bianco before leaving Oxford today, hasn't talked to State's John Cohen, per Brown's father.— Daniel Paulling (@DanielPaulling) January 31, 2016
You see, Brown wants to pull a Senquez Golson and play both football and baseball in college. That he hasn't bothered to talk to State's head coach is just another sign that the Starkville kid is planning on heading out of town.
His dad, who played football for State, insisted that hometown pressure won't weigh into his son's decision:
"It's no pressure or anything like that," Arthur Brown told The Clarion-Ledger. "It's going to be difficult, but other than that, it's just thinking what's best for A.J. People are going to say things regardless of where he goes, and that lasts for two or three days or whatever."
Brown will announce on Signing Day, with Bama still presumed to be his leader.
5-star Simmons says Ole Miss would "be a good fit"
"It was nice," defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons told Scout when asked about the visit. "It's home. Mississippi guy, it's home. If I did choose to come here, it'd be a good fit. Me and Benito [Jones] have been knowing each other for a good little while. That's why he was my host. He's a freshman here and we've been knowing each other."
Still, the state's top player is tough to read. Ben Garrett reports that Simmons has eliminated Southern Miss but is still deciding between Ole Miss, State, Bama and Tennessee.
"I love all those schools," he said. "They're all great. If I did go [to Ole Miss], it'd be a great fit. But now it's about where I feel more at home at."
Simmons will make his decision the morning of Signing Day.
Luafatasaga, Cooley, DeFoor and Jones all say they're solid
All four of these guys are currently committed and told Yancy Porter it's gonna stay that way through Signing Day.
OM 4-Star LB commit David Luafatasaga is solid and will sign with the Rebels Wednesday.— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) January 31, 2016
Octavious Cooley is 100% committed to Ole Miss.— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) January 31, 2016
Jaylon Jones said he and Greg Little are 100% committed.— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) January 31, 2016
We'll just have to take Jones's word on Little, but there's no reason to suspect the nation's top offensive tackle won't stick to his commitment.
Luafatasaga is particularly good news, as he'd taken officials to Cal and Utah this month. The Rebs need linebackers in a bad way and it's sounding like five-star Mique Juarez is slipping away.