Andy Kennedy and his staff have spent their summer on the camp circuit searching for top talent. It looks like one of those finds has already been crossed off the list: three-star power forward J.J. Smith tweeted on Tuesday that he's moving on from his Ole Miss commitment.
For all the coaches , I will be reopening my recruitment process #vegas here come Jj smith— the5show (@jatrioussmith) July 19, 2016
After committing to Ole Miss in January without even visiting Oxford, the 6'4, 190-pound wing looked to be another athletic small forward coming to Oxford. Smith is a long and athletic forward that can run the floor and finish at the rack with authority. Once ranked the 80th best prospect in the country, the 6'4, 190-pound wing recently dropped out of Rivals 100 rankings and has been pretty low key on the recruiting circuit.
Here's the silver lining: the fact that a player as talented as Smith committed in the first place without even visiting is a positive sign that Kennedy's consistent winning year in and year out and longevity in the SEC is starting to register with some of the top targets. With Smith out of the picture, the Rebels will almost certainly turn up the heat on three-star guard Parker Stewart, who just recently put the Rebs in his top seven, and four-star guard Alex O'Connell.
Stewart is a 6'5, 185-pound combo guard from Union City, Tenn. who has offers from Florida, Georgetown, Memphis and Wisconsin. His 247Sports Crystal Ball predicts him as 100 percent to Ole Miss. O'Connell, on the other hand, is a 100 percent prediction to Louisville. The 6'5, 170-pound two guard from Alpharetta, Ga. has offers from Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Iowa State, Miami (Fla.) and has drawn some interest from Duke and Xavier.
The lone commit in the 2017 class right now is Petal, Miss. small forward Tirus Smith. If the Rebs could add the aforementioned Stewart and O'Connell, the class could be one of instant impact.