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Ole Miss recruiting: Major targets on campus for Alabama weekend

Ole Miss is going for a three-peat. Nick Saban is in town. Tons of croots want to see what happens.

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

The battle for a Drake “Back to Back (Remix)” starts at 2:30 p.m. CST on CBS Saturday and there will be plenty of folks in town who are eager to see how it all shakes out. Among that group will be a large number of recruits, including at least three-five-stars and six four-stars.

Freeze’s recent recruiting success is the reason Ole Miss has managed to knock off the Tide in consecutive years, but with the cloud of an NCAA investigation hovering overhead, this year’s class currently ranks just 29th nationally and 11th in the SEC. A win in Oxford on Saturday could go a long way to building up some momentum on the crootin trail.

Below is the list of unofficial visitors that may or may not show. There will certainly be other Ole Miss targets in town for the weekend, and once we’re able to confirm them with a non-paywall source, we’ll update this post accordingly. This list does not include the several Ole Miss commits that will be in town for the game.

All ratings are from the 247Sports composite.

5-star Cam Akers

Overall rank: 8
RB rank: 2
Hometown: Clinton, Miss.

The five-star do-it-all playmaker from the Magnolia State will be in town to take in the new Vaught and to see what the Rebs do with their run game. After decommitting from Alabama back in March, Akers has been all over the place. His 247 Crystal Ball favors Ohio State but we think he’s Ole Miss’ to lose.

5-star Trey Smith

Overall rank: 20
OT rank: 4
Hometown: Jackson, Tenn.

It's almost certainly a two-horse race between Ole Miss and Tennessee, but the 6’6, 299-pounder is expected to be in town to see another one of his finalists. The Vols recently hired Smith’s sister, but the Rebs have to like their chances because he travels south to Oxford a lot. After signing one of the better offensive line classes in 2016, coach Matt Luke has made Trey priority 1B next to five-star Walker Little.

4-star Devonta Smith

Overall rank: 68
WR rank: 10
Hometown: Amite, La.

The top target from the Pelican State will be in town to take in the sights and sounds of the new Vaught. His crystal ball favors the Tide (100 percent) but Smith might be intrigued to see Chad Kelly and Co. spread the football around all over the field to different receivers. The 6’1, 160-pound receiver has offers from EVERYONE.

4-star Chuck Filiaga

Overall rank: 112
OT rank: 16
Hometown: Aledo, Tex.

Joining Smith will be Filiaga, another blue-chip offensive lineman from Texas. The 6’6, 335-pound tackle from Aledo has Ole Miss in his top 10 and will be in Oxford for the game. As of now, Southern Cal (78 percent) and TCU (11 percent) lead for his services but the Rebs could give him a front row seat at how they do business in the trenches on Saturday.

4-star JUCO Isaiah Buggs

Overall rank: 2
WDE rank: 1
Hometown: Ruston, La.

The big man from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will be in town to see what coach Chris Kiffin’s Rushmen do to stop the Tide. The 6’5, 280-pounder would be a Day 1 starter for Ole Miss in 2017 and you can best believe Hugh Freeze will make a point to let him know that on Saturday. Buggs’ Crystal Ball currently sits at 100 percent LSU but the Rebs are hanging in there.

4-star LaBryan Ray

Overall rank: 62
SDE rank: 2
Hometown: Madison, Ala.

The Under-Armour All-American is thought by many to be a shoe-in to sign with the Tide but he keeps talking about the Rebs. At 6’4, 270-pounds, he would be a candidate to come in and play immediately and we all know the Rebs aren’t bashful when it comes to playing true freshmen. You can bet money that LaBryan will be watching that on Saturday.

4-star Marcus Murphy (Mississippi State commit)

Overall rank: 288
ATH rank: 23
Hometown: West Point, Miss.

It’s not very often that kids out of West Point give Ole Miss much of a shot, but Murphy seems to be a intrigued by the Rebs. He does not have an offer yet but coach Grant Heard could be looking at him to join his group and bolster the WRU claim. At 6’1, 190-pounds, Murphy would be a solid addition in the slot.

4-star K.J. Britt

Overall rank: 317
ILB rank: 2
Hometown: Oxford, Ala.

The Opening alum and Yellowhammer State stud is making the trip to Oxford to see just what Dave Wommack has cooked up at the second level. I’m fairly certain that Britt knows by now just how desperate the Rebs are for playmakers at linebacker. The 6’0, 232-pounder’s Crystal Ball favors Auburn (67 percent) and UGA (33 percent) as of now.

3-star Braylon Sanders

Overall rank: 593
WR rank: 91
Hometown: Hogansville, Ga.

The Peach State product will be traveling to Oxford this weekend to see what all the fuss is about with coach Grant Heard’s new “WRU”. Sanders is a 6’0, 172-pound spark plug who makes his living in space. The Georgia Bulldogs have offered and they’re the team to beat, but he does have Ole Miss in his top four.

3-star 2018 target Demarcus Gregory

Overall rank: 373
WR rank: 58
Hometown: Duncan, S.C.

The junior from the Palmetto State has shown a lot of interest in the Rebs of late and now he is making the trip to Oxford. His crystal ball is split between UNC and South Carolina but don’t count out coach Grant Heard just yet. This is the same position coach who has managed to bring in NFL players Laquon Treadwell and Cody Core and blue-chippers Quincy Adeboyejo, A.J. Brown, Van Jefferson, Damarkus Lodge, D.K. Metcalf, Tre Nixon, Damore’ea Stringfellow and Markell Pack.

5-star 2019 target Jerrion Ealy

Overall rank: 36
RB rank: 4
Hometown: Flowood, Miss.

Mr. Ealy has been doing work for Jackson Prep since his freshman year and most pundits close to the program think that the 5’9, 171-pound scat back is coach Derrick Nix’s No. 1 priority for 2019. He was named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-America team last season and is already building a strong 2016 campaign for the Patriots. Jerrion will be paying close attention to how the Rebs utilize their backs on Saturday.