Ole Miss might have had some last minute defensive whiffs on National Signing Day but Hugh Freeze and Co. are doing their best to erase those misses. Junior college defensive end Josiah Coatney announced Thursday afternoon that he's committed to the Rebels, according to Ben Garrett. The new Landshark is eligible for the 2016 season and has four years to play three. He'll be an immediate contributor on a line that desperately needs to replace Robert Nkemdiche, Channing Ward and Woodrow Hamilton.
The big man from Douglasville, Ga. collected 46 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery (returned for a touchdown) and one interception in nine games with Holmes Community College last season. The former four-star prospect is a much hotter name now than he was when he came out of Chapel Hill High School in 2014. Coatney chose Ole Miss over offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
How does he fit in?
At 6'5, 285-pounds, Coatney is the strong, physical specimen that D-line coach Chris Kiffin covets. He has a big lower half will allow him to slide inside to help stop the run. Coatney also exhibits good burst and pad level in one-on-ones that will help him overpower offensive tackles if he stays outside as an end. With Breeland Speaks, D.J. Jones, Ross Donelly and Benito Jones shouldering the load on the interior, Josiah should be a nice compliment to Marquis Haynes and Fadol Brown on the outside.
Since Coatney is a JUCO transfer who Ole Miss expects to play right away, he gives defensive coordinator Dave Wommack some peace of mind. Newcomer Charles Wiley will have time to get acclimated to the speed of the game and learn the playbook. It also lets them slowly start to work in redshirt freshman Austrian Robinson who at 6'4 and 292-pounds is quite the specimen in his own right.