Last October, Hugh Freeze landed the No. 3 prospect in Mississippi when he flipped four-star wideout D.D. Bowie from Bama. Last Friday, he added the state's No. 2 prospect by tiptoeing into Starkville and lifting four-star linebacker Willie Gay from Dan Mullen's dresser drawer.
Time to go after No. 1.
That would be five-star Cam Akers, a 6'0, 212-pound running back with 4.44 speed and the build of a Volkswagen Jetta. The Clinton, Miss. native tweeted on Monday that he's back in Oxford, marking his second unofficial visit to Ole Miss since February. Not that he hasn't been in damn near every other college town this month: two weeks ago he was raving about Jim Harbaugh after Michigan's camp in Mississippi; days later he was in Auburn; last week he swung through Knoxville and Tallahassee; after his Oxford visit he'll fly up to Ohio State.
All of those schools are in his top 10, as are Alabama, Cal, Georgia and LSU. He'll be narrowing that list down soon.
‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️Releasing a top 4 at the end of summer:smiling_imp: :fire: ‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️— Cam akers (@thereal_cam3) June 20, 2016
Most experts favor the Rebs: 247's Crystal Ball has Ole Miss leading at 43 percent (Ohio State and Georgia follow at 21 percent and 14 percent, respectively) and Rivals Recruiting Director Mike Farrell recently predicted Akers to Oxford "barring an NCAA beatdown" (a prediction Akers himself retweeted).
After the Michigan camp in Pearl, Akers headed to Atlanta for the Rivals Challenge, where he continued to show off his insane athleticism.
Cam Akers looks like a grown man out here in drills. Quick feet as well. pic.twitter.com/emMP0VHHlC— Paul Fortenberry (@Volquest_Paul) June 11, 2016
Ohio State top target, 5-Star RB Cam Akers runs a 4.4 40 at 215 lbs! Would love to see him in the scarlet and gray! pic.twitter.com/j8Q5vs6M4F— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) June 12, 2016
5-star Walker Little is feeling some fraternal pressure.
The newly-minted five-star offensive tackle from Bellaire, Texas has a 247 Crystal Ball that points toward the in-state Longhorns (77 percent), but his family connection to Oxford has a lot of folks thinking he's an Ole Miss lean.
Little has a sister and a brother at Ole Miss, and he recently told Rivals that his brother especially is pushing him hard to be a Rebel. He stopped short of calling the Rebs his leader, but did say Ole Miss is "definitely a top school."
3-star Lavante Epson showed out at a Varsity Preps camp.
When Epson committed to Ole Miss last week, most folks responded somewhere along the lines of "who the hell is that?" The offensive guard out of Greenville, Miss. began answering that question with a dominant performance at Varsity Preps' Elite Camp, where he was named the O-lineman MVP.
Rivals' recruiting analyst Woody Wommack was in attendance and came away impressed with Epson's performance. Wommack believes that Lavante is a "true guard and plays with an edge". This edge he speaks of has become a trend at the camps he has attended recently which leads to, as Wommack puts it, "sending defender after defender to the turf".
Epson told The Clarion-Ledger's Brian Scott Rippee that although he's a "hard commit" he's "still going to take [his] visits and still open to whatever." A source told 247 that Epson still has work to do before he'll be able to qualify academically.
Andy Kennedy brings a blue chipper to his hoops camp.
D.J. Jeffries, a small forward from Olive Branch, Miss. who was recently named by ESPN as the No. 5 overall prospect in the 2019 class, was in Oxford recently for an Ole Miss hoops camp. Heading into his sophomore year of high school, this dude is already 6'7, 190 pounds and has offers from Memphis, Texas A&M and Wake Forest. Jeffries is also garnering early attention from Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina, which makes it a long shot that he'll land in Oxford.
Still, he had a lot of nice things to say about the Rebs when he spoke with Scout's Ben Garett:
I like that they treat us like family when we come down here. My uncle, he likes Ole Miss. He's always been an Ole Miss fan. I really like Ole Miss. I see Ole Miss improving. I like the new arena, and I like how they treat us like we're family. They seem like they take care of you.
(Mississippi State) told me they're going to recruit me hard and if I want to stay home, to keep them in mind. I like the campus. But I really like Ole Miss because it's closer to home. Mississippi State is like a two-hour drive.
The more attainable prospect at last week's camp was Oxford High's Jarkel Joiner, a 2017 guard whose modest offer sheet consists of Cal-State Bakersfield, Middle Tennessee and TCU. He's also hearing from Alabama and Murray State and waiting on an offer from the Rebs.
Joiner told Garrett that "[Ole Miss assistant coach Todd] Abernethy and Coach Kennedy, I love them. It would be fun to play for them."
The 6'1, 168-pound guard averaged 26.7 points and four rebounds per game during his junior year. Roll the film.