The linebacker position has vexed the Ole Miss coaching staff since they arrived in 2011. The Ole Miss coaches signed four high school linebackers total in their entire first four classes. The only one of those four who has played any meaningful downs is Demarquis Gates, a player who really proved himself a lot at the end of this season.
There have been a lot of misses. Mique Juarez, Leo Lewis, Chris Garrett, and Nyles Morgan come to mind, but there have been others. Ole Miss targets respected players at the position but just can't get them to sign -- regardless of the fact that they can promise major immediate playing time on an otherwise great team. It's pretty tough to figure out what the problem is at the position. They just can't seem to nab the guys they pursue there.
In this class, they lost David Luafatasaga, a 4-star junior college player, to Utah. Yeah. After being committed to Ole Miss for nearly a year, Luafatasaga decided to sign with the Utah Utes instead of almost certainly starting at Ole Miss immediately. But the Rebels did sign two high school linebackers, something that isn't very common for them unfortunately.
3-star Donta Evans
No. 22 Inside Linebacker, No. 590 overall
6'1, 230 pounds
Evans has good size, especially for a high school player. He comes from a storied program, Archer High School, in Larenceville, Georgia and has experience playing against high level talent.
He changes direction well and looks like he can reliably bring down a ball carrier. It's tough to tell too much about linebackers based on high school film, but he does look pretty good. He's not super fast or super athletic, but he's a decent player. He had an alright offer list, highlighted by Arkansas and Auburn.
3-star Tariquious Tisdale
No. 52 Weakside Defensive End, No. 745 overall
6'5, 247 pounds
Tisdale is a difficult player to project as you can see by 247Sports listing him as a defensive end. He's very big for the linebacker position, but he'll get a chance there. As has been made evident by this article, Ole Miss has to find people who can play the position. Maybe Tisdale can succeed there like he did in high school, but the main concern with that is his ability to play in coverage. I can't find film on him past his freshman year, but I've heard he isn't fast (for an SEC linebacker). That could be pretty problematic for his chances to contribute in a meaningful way. Tisdale could prove to be a very helpful linebacker in games against teams that run the ball in a traditional way like Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama. A player with his skill-set may struggle against teams like Texas A&M though.