Early enrollees like Shea Patterson, Benito Jones and Myles Hartsfield have been on campus for a few months now. This week, they'll be joined by the rest of Ole Miss' top-10 2016 recruiting class. Now seems as good a time as any to run through which of these guys we think will make an impact this season.
And since rankings always make things more interesting, we ranked 'em.
1. Greg Little, OL
The top offensive lineman in the 2016 class is almost assuredly going to be counted on to take over for Laremy Tunsil at left tackle. How soon that will happen remains to be seen. Alex Givens, who impressed coaches during spring practice, is an option to start on the left while Little gets his sea legs. But Little will be given plenty of opportunities during fall camp to lock up the starting spot. We expect him to be in the opening day lineup against Florida State.
2. Rommel Mageo, LB
The Rebs once again struggled to sign a blue-chip linebacker, but got bailed out by the transfer of Mageo, who's already graduated from Oregon State and is immediately eligible. With Demarquis Gates and Terry Caldwell on the outside, Rommel is expected to walk in and take over the starting middle 'backer job in 2016.
3. Benito Jones, DL
Oh, look, another five-star. Jones' lightning quick first step reminds me of Isaac Gross except, ya know, hes a 300-pound nose tackle built like a coke machine. Benito is already large and talented enough to spell Gross, Ross Donelly, D.J. Jones and Breeland Speaks in the trenches this season. He won't start, but look for Jones to play a lot in 2016, especially with Gross coming back from neck surgery.
4. Josiah Coatney, DL
After Fadol Brown went down with injury late in the year, the Rebels knew they needed to go out and sign an impact strong-side defensive end for 2016. Coatney, a JUCO transfer from Holmes Community College, has the size and experience to provide depth on the edge of the D-line. This guy is gonna play A LOT.
5. A.J. Brown, WR
He has the wiggle to get by press coverage and the strength to fight off linebackers and safeties to make catches in traffic. Yes there is plenty of depth at the wide receiver position, but much like Laquon, A.J. has that raw ability that you can't teach and I think it will be very hard for Grant Heard to redshirt him. Personally, I see Brown playing a lot in 2016 due to his playmaking ability and repertoire he brings to the slot position opposite Quincy Adeboyejo.
6. Deontay Anderson, DB
Anderson was recruited to come in and challenge C.J. Hampton from day one. It remains to be seen if the light has come on with Hampton, but if it hasn't, Deontay will be called upon to step in. If Hampton can't get it done, Anderson will take his spot. If C.J. answers the call, Hampton could be a candidate to backup Tony Conner. But, let's be real, Anderson is talented enough that he will definitely challenge for every single safety position. If Hampton locks down free safety, Deontay would be a viable candidate to step in at the Rover position.
7. Myles Hartsfield, DB
The secondary will probably have a lot of moving pieces early on as the coaches try to figure how to fill the void left by Mike Hilton and Trae Elston. That could open the door for Hartsfield, who drew a lot of praise from coaches during spring practice, to carve out a role. Maybe he competes for a starting spot at free or strong safety. Maybe he serves as the primary husky backup behind Tonny Conner, who's currently working his way back from offseason knee surgery. Either way, this young man is talented and Dave Wommack is gonna do whatever he can to get him on the field.
8. Shea Patterson, QB
Chad Kelly's the man under center for another year, but that doesn't mean the best quarterback in the entire 2016 class won't see the field this season. I fully expect there to be some packages for Patterson here and there and he'll definitely get extensive reps in blowout non-conference games. As far as his spot on the depth chart, I think getting a leg up as an early enrollee gives him a real shot to learn the playbook and beat out Jason Pellerin for the No. 2 spot behind Swag.
9. Detric Bing-Dukes, LB
Like Rommel Mageo, Bing-Dukes transferred in during the wild scramble for warm bodies to fill the linebacker depth chart. Unlike, Mageo, he has three years of eligibility, meaning he won't be rushed onto the field. His role, which could be either inside or outside, will grow with his playbook knowledge. BD's impact on the field remains to be seen, but he'll definitely be on the all-name team.
10. DeKaylin Metcalf, WR
Even with the loaded receiver depth chart, I think Metcalf's size and Grant Heard's willingness to play freshmen leads to some significant playing time for the four-star prospect out of Oxford High. At nearly 6'4, 205, he's going to be an absolute nightmare for smaller corners and might find a role as a red zone threat opposite Damore'ea Stringfellow.