Though its guest list didn’t have as much star power as in years past, last weekend’s big Crootapalooza visit event was more important than ever for Ole Miss as it tries to piece together a solid class despite the NCAA investigation. With National Signing Day looming this Wednesday, it sounds like the weekend may have put the Rebels on the radar of at least two prospects who hadn’t been that high on them previously. Four-star athlete Jaylon Redd and three-star defensive tackle Josh Rogers both told members of the recruiting media on Sunday that the visit vaulted Ole Miss into their respective top three.
Redd, a soft commit to Oregon, told the Ole Miss Spirit that the Rebels have climbed alongside the Ducks and Arizona State.
"I've got to go back to the drawing board," explained Redd, who’s being recruited to Ole Miss as a running back and slot receiver. "I'll get to the house and go over everything with my family. I'll just look at the negatives with each school. Look at the opportunities by their depth charts."
Ole Miss got in late with Redd after hiring new wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler, who’d been recruiting him at Cal. He said he “really liked Oxford” and seemed impressed by his host for the weekend, Shea Patterson.
Rogers, a 280-pound defender out of Houston, told Rebel Grove he was “surprised” by how much he enjoyed the visit and that Ole Miss has joined Texas and Oklahoma as finalists.
"All in all it was a good visit. All in all it was a great weekend...” he said. “They are definitely in top consideration, more than before I came. Not ever being in Mississippi I couldn't down them for that but coming here stirred some things up."
Rogers will make his final decision at 11:30 a.m. CT on Signing Day. Redd will announce around 30 minutes later.
Here are some other important updates from the weekend:
Larrell Murchison is down to Ole Miss and Georgia.
The three-star defensive tackle has been committed to the Rebels for three weeks now but Georgia, which hosted him for an official visit two weeks ago has been charging hard. Murchison told the Ole Miss Spirit that he’s “not quite 100 percent” solid in his Rebel commitment but that his official visit helped alleviate some of his concern over the NCAA investigation.
“Coach Freeze explained the investigation to me. He explained it well enough that I know to be smart about this decision,” he said. “Just what would be the worst that would happen. The worst thing would probably be a bowl ban, and it’s not likely to happen. That’s the only thing I had a question about, and they answered it. It was all right.”
Murchison said he’ll announce his final decision via Twitter sometime on Signing Day.
3-star Kam White sounds like he’s decided on Ole Miss.
White’s been leaning toward the Rebels since decommitting from Iowa State a couple of weeks ago and it sounds like his official visit to Oxford sewed things up.
“Me and my family made a decision last week and we wanted to come up here just to make sure the decision was solidified,” he told the Ole Miss Spirit. “I think we made the right decision to where we’re going. What solidified is us making the decision as a family.”
White stopped short of revealing what that decision is, but his mom said she’s “95 percent that this would be the school for him.” Dad’s on board as well, saying “a lot of people... have been discouraged because of the sanctions that may possibly come against Ole Miss, but I think they’re going to miss out on something great here by letting that deter them from signing with Ole Miss.”
White’s officially listed as an athlete but will contribute on defense for the Rebels, either as an outside linebacker or defensive back.
Mohamed Sanogo set his announcement and his three finalists.
The three-star linebacker was named the MVP of the under-18 North American Championship after piling up seven tackles to help Team USA hold Team Canada to just 18 offensive yards during a 26-0 beatdown (stick to hockey, Canucks). Shortly thereafter, he announced on Twitter that he’ll be deciding between Ole Miss, Mississippi State and UCLA at 8 a.m. CT on National Signing Day.
From the sound of his interview with Scout, Sanogo’s decision will come down to Ole Miss and State, where he took consecutive official visits earlier this month. UCLA didn’t offer until last week and Sanogo hasn’t taken an official there. He said that he isn’t 100 percent on his decision yet and needs to talk things over with his family, though he did have nice things to say about Oxford.
"That place is really beautiful," Sanogo told Scout. "It is a beautiful campus. It has a real homey feel to it for a Plano kid. There are a lot of people from the Dallas area that I just knew walking around and that was kind of cool.”
At 6’2, 239 pounds, he could be an immediate contributor at inside linebacker next season and is a potential starter down the road.
All prospect rankings in this post come from the 247Sports Composite.