Ole Miss got news over the weekend that newly-hired wide receivers coach Matt Lubick is heading to Baylor instead. The Rebels’ top offensive commit for the 2017 class might be following him out the door.
Four-star wideout D.D. Bowie, who’s been solidly committed to Ole Miss since flipping over from Bama in October of 2015, told 247Sports on New Years Day that while he hasn’t formally backed out of his pledge to the Rebels, he’s “undecided right now” and would accept an offer to Florida State if the ‘Noles were to extend him one.
The interest in Tallahassee stems from the recent FSU commitment of Cam Akers, Bowie’s good buddy and fellow Mississippi resident. The pair is currently in San Antonio prepping for the U.S. Army Bowl, and Akers told 247 that he plans to spend the week recruiting Bowie to Florida State.
According to Bowie, the sale’s already been made—the country’s No. 12 receiver prospect sounds like he’s just waiting for an offer. Whether Jimbo Fisher will extend that offer is another matter.
“I don't know if Florida State will offer,” SB Nation recruiting expert Bud Elliott told me. “The Seminoles want to take two or three receivers, and already have four-star D.J. Matthews in the class. Tamorrion Terry and Henry Ruggs, both of whom have offers, could be higher on FSU's board.”
But even if the ‘Noles offer isn’t extended, Bowie still might jump ship. He told 247 that he would “find somewhere else” if Ole Miss hasn’t learned its NCAA fate by National Signing Day, when Bowie plans to make his final decision. There’s been nothing to suggest the NCAA’s investigation, which is now in its fifth year, will wrap up by then.
"I want to be safe from them getting suspended from bowl games and I don't know how many years [probation] is gonna be," Bowie said during Army Bowl check-in. "I want to go to the NFL and do what's best for my family so I need to find a school and go with it."
The biggest threat might be Mississippi State, which would allow Bowie to avoid the NCAA stuff while staying close to home. He has a visit to Starkville planned for Jan. 13 (and sounds as if he’ll add trips to Auburn and Miami).
“Mississippi State is likely a greater threat than FSU,” Elliott said. “And given how loaded Ole Miss is at receiver, I question whether Bowie would see the field early.”
It helps that his official Ole Miss visit is currently scheduled for Jan. 27, which would give Hugh Freeze the final say before Signing Day on Feb. 1. Bowie did backtrack a bit on Monday, when he told Scout that his decision is “most likely gonna be the Rebels.”
Wide receiver isn’t a position of need for Ole Miss, but holding onto the state’s No. 2 prospect is critical for perception.
Ole Miss landed a blue-chip linebacker commit.
Until last weekend, Bowie was the only four-star pledge the Rebels had. That changed when Breon Dixon, the No. 11 inside linebacker in the country, donned an Ole Miss hat at halftime of the Under Armour All-American Game. Here’s what I wrote about him on Sunday:
Dixon’s pledge is critical for two reasons. For starters, it provides timely momentum for a program that watched Cam Akers don a Florida State hat last week. Secondly, Dixon, who’s rated the No. 11 inside linebacker in the country, provides immediate support for a position of critical need...
Dixon is an explosive talent with impressive speed to go along with a stout frame. He’s powerful at the point of attack and has shown an impressive ability to stay on receivers’ hips and make plays on the football. His size and talent should allow him to be an immediate contributor in Wesley McGriff’s new 4-3 scheme.
The Rebs might be scheming on a couple of State commits.
Four-star running back Kylin Hill has been pledged to Mississippi State since May and tweeted in December that he was shutting his recruitment down, but apparently the Rebs are still after him.
Ole miss been on my line lately— Kylin Hill (@H_Kylin) January 3, 2017
With Akers committed to the ‘Noles, expect Freeze to pursue both of these backs.
A three-star DT has Ole Miss in his top six.
Joshua Rogers is a 6’5, 280-pounder out of Houston. Ranked the 63rd best defensive tackle in the 2017 class, he’s considered by the 247 Crystal Ball to be a heavy Oklahoma lean.