In the immediate aftermath of National Signing Day 2016, after last-minute whiffs on five-star Mique Juarez and JUCO All-American David Luafatasaga left Ole Miss desperately thin at linebacker, Tariqious Tisdale became the champion of the optimists. The shared hope was that the three-star out of Tennessee, while raw, possessed a freakish combination of size and athleticism that would allow him to contribute to the beleaguered linebacking corps immediately.
He may not be on campus at all this season. Tisdale still hasn't scored well enough on the ACT to report to Oxford with the rest of the signing class, he recently told Scout's Yancy Porter.
"I'm taking the ACT test again on June 10th," Tisdale said. "If all goes well I'll report to Ole Miss on June 23rd... hopefully I can get it done this time. I'm just barely short right now."
But even if Tisdale does qualify, he might not be showing up in Oxford as a linebacker. Tisdale, who played defensive tackle in high school, said he's grown an inch and put on some 20 pounds over the last five months, putting him at 6'6, 270. That's defensive end size.
"I'll see what's going to happen when I get to Ole Miss," Tisdale told Porter. "I spoke to coach (Maurice) Harris the other day. He told me that I might have grown into a defensive lineman now, but they were still holding out hope I could play some linebacker for them."
The good news is that a trio of post-NSD linebacker signings means the Rebs aren't as desperately thin at the position. Grad transfer Rommel Mageo looks like a plug-n-play starter in the middle and JUCO additions Detric Bing-Dukes and Qaadir Sheppard provide immediate depth.
5-star Cam Akers has a ton of visits lined up.
The top 2017 prospect in Mississippi is doing his due diligence on schools outside of the Magnolia State. Akers, who's thought to have both Ole Miss and State in his yet-to-be-released top 10, told Scout's Chad Simmons that he'll take six unofficial visits over the next month: LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State and Tennessee.
Akers looking out of state isn't a new development—after all, he's already committed to and decommitted from Bama. The good news is that most of the crootin experts think his family would prefer him to stay in Mississippi, though Akers said they won't pressure him either way.
"[My parents] are going to support me rather the school I choose is two hours or two days away from my home," said Akers. "If the school that I feel is best for me is in Mississippi, then they will be happy, but they will be happy for me if it isn't too."
Akers told Simmons he expects to announce a final decision in December, though left the door open for a silent commitment earlier than that.
3-star QB Connor Blumrick gets his second SEC offer.
A little over a week after the Rebels sent Blumrick an offer, Texas A&M did the same.
On one hand, attention from the home-state Aggies isn't good news for an Ole Miss coaching staff that needs to add a 2017 QB after watching two others commit elsewhere over the past two months. On the other hand, it's an encouraging sign that this dude is, ya know, good enough to get SEC offers.
247 Sports Brian Perroni says he expects Blumrick's decision soon and the Crystal Ball currently favors the Rebs at 86 percent.
During his junior year at Pearland High School, he was named first-team all-district in 6A Region III District 22 and threw for 1,343 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for 260 yards and guided the Oilers to a perfect record in the district and an 11-1 overall record.
Oxford High wins the baseball state title.
The four Ole Miss baseball signees that play for Oxford High capped off their prep careers by sweeping the Hattiesburg Tigers to take home a second 5A state title in as many years. Jason Barber, Thomas Dillard, Grae Kessinger and Houston Roth all had banner years for Oxford and, barring an MLB Draft surprise, should all report to campus in the fall.
The final game ended with Dillard, a 2016 Perfect Game All-American, obliterating a walkoff homer into the Rankin County afternoon sky, giving him more dingers than any high schooler in the country.
In Game 1, Barber tossed his eighth complete game against the Tigers (he held a no-hitter in the sixth) to improve to 10-2 on the season. In game 2, Roth threw his third straight complete game to finish the season 10-0.