Shea Patterson -- the five-star wunderquaterback assumed to be Ole Miss' passer of the future -- originally committed to the Rebels back in February 2015, nearly a full year before National Signing Day 2016. Signing a signal caller for the 2017 class has been a bit trickier for Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss was beat out by Nebraska for four-star Tristan Gebbia (an Ole Miss legacy, mind you) and earlier this week, Alabama bested the Rebs for four-star Tua Tagovailoa.
Wait, you say. Why does this matter if the Rebs already have Patterson? Well after Swag Kelly graduates, Patterson and former three-star Jason Pellerin will be the only QBs on scholarship. As highly-touted as he his, there's no guarantee that Shea will work out, and either way Ole Miss needs to add depth behind him.
Which brings us to Connor Blumrick, a three-star out of Pearland, Texas who received a scholly offer from Ole Miss earlier this week.
Blumrick's offer sheet is still pretty light (his only offers are from Memphis, McNeese State and Texas State) but his 6'6, 200-pound frame and impressive high school stats are intriguing and Texas A&M is starting to take interest as well (for good reason lol at those knuckleheads). Playing in Texas' top classification, he completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,478 yards and 13 touchdowns, adding another 263 yards on the ground.
His tape is pretty impressive as well.
Blumrick's Hudl profile claims he has 4.69 speed and his big arm is obvious. He surveys the field well and can flick his wrist and heave it 45 yards like it's nothing. Combine all of that with his big frame, and he sort of reminds me of former Memphis QB and first round pick Paxton Lynch.
Freeze lands a big-time JUCO defensive end.
Former four-star Josiah Coatney picked Ole Miss over Bama on Thursday afternoon, providing immediate depth for a D-line trying to replace Robert Nkemdiche, Channing Ward and Woodrow Hamilton. Coatney, a 6'5, 280-pounder out of Holmes Community College, is eligible for the 2016 season and has four years to play three. His presence will not only add some strength to that frontline, but also make things easier on the linebackers.
D.K. Metcalf is tearing it up on the track.
After dominating the state in football, Ole Miss commit DeKaylin Metcalf is now doing his thing on the track. The 6'3, 205-pound receiver prospect showed his freakish athleticism by taking first place in two separate events. He ran a 15.11 in the 110-meter hurdles and posted a 43-feet, 10.75 inches in the triple jump.
Earlier this year, Optimus Metcalf led the Oxford High basketball team to a 20-win season, averaging 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds while throwing down monster jams. He'll obviously focus his athletic endeavors on football at Ole Miss but it's always nice to see a well-rounded fella do his thing on multiple stages.
Speaking of the Oxford Chargers, another prep star from the Velvet Ditch has been tearing up the baseball diamond this year. Ole Miss commit Thomas Dillard hit not one, not two, but three dingers in a first-round playoff win over Center Hill this week.
Dillard is a switch-hitting, 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game All-American and the heir apparent to Henri Lartigue behind the plate. This season, the 6'0, 220-pounder is hitting .420 with 43 RBI, a .543 on-base percentage, a 1.022 slugging percentage and a 1.566 on-base percentage. If you need a hint, that is in fact very good. And as you can see from this dinger back in March, he has some pop with the bat.
According to Baseball Factory, he also runs well (6.87 60-yard dash) and has an impressive 1.81 pop time behind the plate. At a showcase in Memphis last summer, Dillard had a ridiculous bat exit velocity of 98 mph. He has power from both sides of the plate and can also play some first base due to his above average athleticism. The Rebs just need to hope the MLB doesn't snatch this guy away.
Mike Bianco, himself a former catcher, has always recruited top talent behind the plate: Justin Brashear, Miles Hamblin, Alex Kliman, Brett Basham, Stuart Turner, Will Allen and now Lartigue. Is Dillard next in line?