Ole Miss landed its second commitment of the week on Wednesday night when three-star offensive guard Lavante Epson pledged via Twitter. The 6'3, 315-pounder from Washington School in Greenville, Miss. is the seventh commitment in Hugh Freeze's 2017 class. Three-star linebacker Josh Clarke committed on Monday.
Epson only carries eight offers at the moment, but it's a sneaky good list: Alabama, Cal, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Tennessee, plus the Rebs. Epson, who was thought to be a heavy State lean for most of the early part of the cycle, told the Ole Miss Spirit he "just loved how much attention [the Rebel coaches] gave me."
"I'm not saying the other schools didn't show many interest but not like Ole Miss. Coaches [Derrick] Nix and [Matt] Luke stayed on me every day. They made me feel like I was really needed."
How does he fit in?
Ya know what else makes interior offensive lineman feel needed at Ole Miss? Pretty much any game tape from 2015.
Epson, who also plays defensive tackle in high school, confirmed to Scout that the Rebel coaches want him to play the offensive guard spot, where he'll help replace the inconsistent duo of Justin Bell and Aaron Morris.
"That's where they like me. They love my quick feet inside and how physical I play inside," Epson said. "They told me that I just dominate people inside... They are bringing in the number one offensive line class in the country. There will be a lot of competition, but I'm up for the task."
Current junior Rod Taylor, who's expected to grab one of the two starting spots this season, will be graduated by the time Epson's a sophomore. His primary competition at that point will be current sophomores Javon Patterson (a former five star who's hoping to turn things around after a disappointing first year) and Jordan Sims (a former three-star who came out of nowhere to play a major role in the second half of the 2015 season).
Epson has the frame to play Power 5 football, but you figure O-line coach Matt Luke will want him to drop from 315 pounds down to about 290-295 when playing on the interior. The Rebels want to speed up their no-huddle attack and more so he is wanting his linemen to try and stay under 300 if at all possible. A drop in weight will only bolster Epson's superb athleticism.