Ole Miss has plenty of depth at the running back position for the 2016 season, but with Akeem Judd's eligibility running out this year and Jordan Wilkins' expiring after next, you can bet Hugh Freeze is searching for eventual replacements. Look no further than 2018 prospects Asa Martin and Fabian Franklin, both of whom recently confirmed their interest in the Rebels.
Martin recently transferred from Decatur, Ala. to IMG Academy in Florida, the same school that Rebel super croot Shea Patterson spent his senior year. In a recent interview with Scout.com, the 5'11, 195-pounder said that Ole Miss—the first school to offer Martin back in October of last year—is his current frontrunner.
As a sophomore, Martin rushed for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns in the state of Alabama's highest classification. Hell, his former high school's nickname is the Black Bears. His recruitment has only just begun, but for now, his 247Sports Crystal Ball lists him as 100 percent Ole Miss.
The other young running back to keep an eye on is Franklin, a four-star out of Hattiesburg who told Scout that Ole Miss and Georgia are at the top of his list.
Franklin, who boasts offers from Ole Miss, Bama, LSU, State, Tennessee and Michigan, ran for 1,036 yards, 12 touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry.
Can Ole Miss land a croot from Hawaii?
The first school to offer dual-threat quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is only 4,000 miles away. And that doesn't seem to deter him at all. Tagovailoa and his family took a trip to the South to visit Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss. Tua's father told SEC Country's Chris Kirschner that the family favorite is Alabama, but Freeze and Auburn's Gus Malzahn have both told Tua that he's their No. 1 option at quarterback for the 2017 class.
As a junior at St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Tua passed for 2,932 yards, 24 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, adding another 482 yards and 11 scores on the ground. With Tua's skill set as a dual-threat passer, one would assume that Auburn or Ole Miss would be a better fit than Bama's more pro-style offense.
AK is after another point guard.
Shifting gears from football, Andy Kennedy has also been out on the road recruiting this spring. One name that has been popping up a lot lately is Alex O'Connell, a 6'6, 170-pound two guard who lists his top five as Clemson, Georgia, Iowa State, Ole Miss and Stanford.
O'Connell spoke with Scout's Josh Gershon about each school and gave Ole Miss a glowing review saying "they've been recruiting me for a while and I like that coaching staff." The Milton, Ga. native also talked about how he likes the Rebs' "style of play."
The young man from Georgia has plenty of length and athleticism and he can shoot it as well. With Cullen Neal transferring in, Deandre Burnett now eligible and Rasheed Brooks, Terence Davis and Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey the only returning contributors at the point guard position, Kennedy will most certainly be looking for impact guys in this cycle.
Check out O'Connell's highlights: