Too often you hear fans, as well as people in the media, make a claim that X-school is PositionU and most of the time that claim is unwarranted. After another phenomenal haul of wideouts, however, Hugh Freeze is making a realistic pitch for Ole Miss as Wide Receiver U.
Freeze has already sent Donte Moncrief to the league and Laquon Treadwell isn't far behind him (and Cody Core is turning the heads of NFL scouts). Former four-stars Damore'ea Stringfellow, Quincy Adeboyejo, Markell Pack, Damarkus Lodge and Van Jefferson are already on the roster, and three more will be joining them from the 2016 class.
In late August of last year, Twitter, message boards, the radio airwaves, and even Podcast Rebellion (which is on iTunes, you should check it out) were consumed with a debate: which Mississippi receiver prospect is better: A.J. Brown or DeKaylin Metcalf? Well Ole Miss stepped in and decided they wanted both. Pair those two with Tre Nixon, a burner from the Sunshine State, and the Rebels have one hell of a receiver class.
No. 9 WR, No. 53 overall
6'2, 220 pounds
The Starkville product made huge waves on National Signing Day when he committed to Ole Miss in Mississippi State's backyard. While he was greeted with cheers and love from his classmates and others in attendance, angry State fans weren't quite as nice on social media. A.J. had a message for them:
Yall can call me names or whatever but I made this decision for me . Remember... For the ones who put me last are going to feel me first .— AJ Brown (@Brown1arthur) February 3, 2016
Brown might be the most complete receiver in this class. He's big, physical, runs good routes, and has great speed. HE CAN ALSO RETURN PUNTS, WHICH IS PRETTY... NEAT! As a senior, Brown caught 83 passes for 1,371 yards and 13 touchdowns while helping his team win the Mississippi 6A state championship. He's a big get for Ole Miss no matter where he's from, but the fact that he's from Starkville is icing on the cake.
No. 14 WR, No. 70 overall
6'5, 211 pounds
Son of former Ole Miss and NFL great Terrence Metcalf, DeKaylin was the first commitment in the 2016 class and never wavered. As a senior at Oxford High, he caught 93 passes for 1,455 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading his team to the state championship game. Besides the fact that the uniform colors are the same, his highlight tape might remind you a little bit of Laquon Treadwell's. He's a tall receiver who isn't scared to get physical while blocking downfield and takes advantage of his height and outstanding body control when catching the football. He isn't exactly a burner, which is likely why he never received the coveted five-star ranking, but he has good enough speed to compliment his intimidating stature.
No. 51 WR, No. 226 overall
6'1, 168 pounds
You don't have to watch his highlight tape long to realize why his offer sheet has 10 SEC schools on it. This guy has ELITE speed.
Auburn gets late opportunity to land speedy 4-star WR Tre Nixon https://t.co/sV1kzVFNV2 He was laser timed running a 4.38 40 GL covering him— Josh Knox (@Joshknox31) January 25, 2016
That laser-timed 4.38 would have ranked him fifth among receivers at the 2015 NFL combine and tied for seventh overall. His highlight tape is filled with go-routes and bubble screens because nobody on the field could run with him. Nixon, who had 1,224 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns as a senior, is a possible redshirt candidate considering Ole Miss' depth at the receiver position.
There used to be a time at Ole Miss where fans would have been thrilled with signing just one of these guys. Now having a depth chart full of star receivers is becoming the norm. Would I be surprised if any of them come in and have a significant impact? No. But considering the aforementioned talent depth, I don't expect any of these guys to come in and be forced into a major role. In the future, though, this trio will be a terror for opposing SEC defenses.