In his first week on the job, new Ole Miss D-line coach Tray Scott landed a commitment from JUCO defensive tackle Larrell Murchison. It wasn’t particularly noteworthy at the time—Murchison, a lightly-recruited three-star who’d originally signed with a DII program out of high school, had no other Power 5 offers.
Tucked away at tiny Louisburg College in the coastal plains of North Carolina, Murchison didn’t get much attention from major college scouts. But Scott, coaching just an hour’s drive west at UNC, saw an athletic, 280-pound tackle with a quick first step and lateral playmaking ability. Six days after Scott took the job in Oxford, he convinced Hugh Freeze to extend Murchison an offer. Less than 24 hours later, Murchison accepted.
Then his recruitment started to blow the hell up.
Within two weeks of pledging to Ole Miss, Murchison received offers from Texas, Georgia and Houston. He tripped to Austin two weeks ago, then took an official to Athens last week. With less than a week before National Signing Day, a guy from Louisburg College finds himself choosing between some of the top programs in the country.
All of the late attention poses a major threat to the Rebels’ chances, but during an interview with the Ole Miss Spirit earlier this week, the big fella insisted that “Ole Miss is definitely on top.”
That has a lot to do with Scott.
“He took a chance on offering me because he seen what I had instilled in me that other people couldn’t see or other people didn’t know about,” Murchison said. “But he found me first, so that really means a lot.”
Still, he acknowledge that Georgia is “a great contender” and deflected when the Spirit’s Ben Garrett asked whether he was Ole Miss’ to lose. But even if Scott ends up being another late defection (top commit D.D. Bowie appears ready to join that list), Rebel fans can take a major positive away from his recruitment: the up-and-coming Scott apparently has an eye for talent.
Speaking of Bowie...
D.D. Bowie apparently wants to play DB if he goes to Ole Miss.
On Wednesday, we noted that the Rebels’ top commit effectively reopened his recruitment by scheduling an announcement ceremony on Signing Day—something that doesn’t bode particularly well for Ole Miss’ chances.
Later that day, the four-star wide receiver recruit delivered this quote to The Clarion-Ledger: "If I go to Ole Miss, I'm not playing receiver. I want to play (defensive back). I was just looking at their roster and they graduated like four cornerbacks and I played cornerback, so I think I can play that."
It’s worth noting that Bowie wants to play DB if he goes to Ole Miss. He said he would stay at receiver if he goes to Mississippi State. Bowie is obviously concerned with the scarce opportunity for early playing time on offense in Oxford, which means his decision (which he told the C-L has already been made) could come down to what position he wants to play in college.
All signs seem to be pointing toward Starkville.
Yes, the Rebels lost a linebacker recruit to UAB.
Ya know, the program that hasn’t played a football game in two years. Three-star outside linebacker Thomas Johnston committed to the Blazers on Tuesday, turning down offers from the Rebels, Arkansas and Iowa, among others. In fairness, he did so because his older signed there last year as a quarterback.
Ole Miss stole a linebacker visit from Oregon State.
The Rebels missed on Johnston, but they’ve submitted an offer to three-star Daniel Green from Portland, Ore. The former Southern Cal commit was originally slated to visit Oregon State this weekend, but Hugh Freeze has convinced him to come to Oxford instead.
Green recently released a top three of Kansas State, Oregon State and Utah, but Ole Miss is hoping to muddy the picture a bit with a visit this weekend. After watching his film, I’m not sure why the Rebels are the first
A few Rebel targets are playing in the International Bowl this weekend.
Ole Miss commits Ben Brown and Josh Clarke are joined by top target Mohamed Sanogo in Orlando, Fla. this week to compete for Team USA against Team Canada in the International Bowl. Three-stars Brown and Clarke will compete on the Under-19 National Team and three-star Sanogo will compete on the Under-18 National Team.
Out here balling pic.twitter.com/0oEBMfsU31— Josh Clarke♦️ (@kxng__josh) January 24, 2017
Having a great time so far! Can't wait until Saturday! #EarnYourStars pic.twitter.com/WXq5QwH6qX— Ben Brown (@Ben_Brown55) January 25, 2017
Brown has been committed to the Rebels since last February and is about as solid as they come. After some rumors that LSU might be interested in Clarke, he officially visited Oxford last weekend and looked right at home. Sanogo also visited Oxford last weekend and could be the big-bodied backer that Ole Miss’ defense was missing last year down the stretch.
You can see all three of these dudes play on ESPN3 Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m. CT.