After a busy July, Ole Miss’ crootin momentum took a hit this week when the son of a former Ole Miss football player decided to take his talents north of The Velvet Ditch. Four-star running back Ty Chandler committed to Tennessee on Monday after just visiting Oxford with his parents at the end of July. His dad, Chico, was a running back for the Rebels in the late 90s/early 2000s.
Chandler, a 6’0, 195-pound senior at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tenn., rushed for 2,558 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2015 and was named Tennessee’s DII-AA Mr. Football Back of the Year. The No. 6 running back in the country will play in the Army All-American Game with another Ole Miss running back target: five-star Cam Akers.
The Rebels’ interest in Akers — who is the No. 2 running back prospect in the country and Freeze’s top target for 2017 — might have helped Butch Jones persuade Chandler to spurn his family ties and head to Rocky Top. Taking two top 10 backs would’ve been great, but you have to imagine the Ole Miss coaches knew they could only get one after signing four-star D’Vaughn Pennamon and three-star Jarrion Street in 2016.
Another elite receiver is leaving LSU.
Former 2015 five-star Tyron Johnson has announced that he is leaving LSU, joining John Diarse (who left for TCU) and Trey Quinn (who left for SMU) as the third receiver to leave the Tigers this offseason. Johnson’s father, Tyrone, told The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger that his son is looking for “a more wide open offense.” The 6’1, 189-pounder from New Orleans only logged nine catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns in seven games as a freshman last season.
There’s been no official reports linking Johnson to Ole Miss, but if he’s looking for a pass-happy system in the SEC, it makes sense that he cast a glance at a school that recruited him heavily back when he was ranked the No. 5 wideout in the class of 2015.
Les Miles has blocked Johnson from going directly to an SEC school and he’d have to sit out a transfer year at a DI school regardless. But if Johnson were to go the JUCO route (say, East Mississippi Community College), Ole Miss would definitely give him a look as a replacement for seniors Quincy Adeboyejo and Derrick Jones and likely NFL-bound junior Damore’ea Stringfellow.
USA Today names a three-star Rebel commit to its preseason All-American team.
Josh Clarke might not be the most-heralded linebacker in the country according to recruiting services, but one of the largest newspapers in the world has definitely noticed him. The 6’3, 225-pound Ole Miss commit was named to the USA Today’s 2016 American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Football Team.
The Jefferson, La. native had a breakout junior year at Riverdale High, where he collected 149 tackles and an insane 18 (!) sacks. Joining Clarke on the team are two top Ole Miss targets: the aforementioned Akers and three-star quarterback and LSU commit Myles Brennan. Akers is the top target overall for Ole Miss and Brennan has expressed some interest in the Rebs despite harsh words from his high school coach.