The newly-crowned Ole Miss football coach has done it again. And this time it’s a double-whammy.
After snagging two NFL assistants and Jacob Peeler in 2017, he has now positioned himself to make two HUGE additions in the new year.
Ole Miss could potentially be adding LSU general manager and recruiting savage Austin Thomas AND fellow recruiting savage and former Alabama staffer turned South Alabama wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Tyler Siskey to their staff very soon, as first reported by FootballScoop.
Sources tell FootballScoop former Ole Miss (& Alabama) player personnel man Tyler Siskey is returning to the staff (although we understand the deal is not finalized yet). Siskey spent the past several seasons coaching receivers for Joey Jones at South Alabama. Ole Miss’ rivals site is also reporting the coming hire. Siskey was selected the 2013 FootballScoop Director of Player Personnel of the Year. We continue to hear Austin Thomas is expected to join the staff as well (but that deal also is not complete).
So let’s take a look at the two poised to join Ole Miss’ staff for the upcoming 2018 season shall we?
Austin Thomas, former general manager at LSU
Thomas made history when he was given this title by LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, he is the first general manager in the history of the Southeastern Conference and one of two in the nation. He leads all efforts in the management of the entire football program and is known as one of the top personnel managers in all of college football.
Before he was GM, he was the director of player personnel and an assistant athletic director in Baton Rouge. The Franklin, Tenn. native and Lipscomb alum was named Football Scoop’s 2015 player personnel director of the year. But honestly, that doesn’t do what Thomas did while at LSU justice.
At any given point, he was a director of player personnel, position coach, recruiting coordinator, associate athletic director, assistant to the head coach, and a graduate assistant. The guy literally does it all. His expertise though lies in recruiting. The Middle Tennessee native single-handedly signed four-stars Jacob Phillips (a former Ole Miss target) and Jacoby Stevens.
Those two players, both the top-ranked at their position according to 247Sports, helped the newest member of Luke’s staff finish 11th in the 247Sports Recruiter Rankings for the 2017 cycle. Not only did he help sign those two top 65 players in the 2017 class, but he was also the primary recruiter for:
- 4-star DL K’Lavon Chaisson
- 4-star DB Todd Harris (Ole Miss target)
- 4-star QB Myles Brennan (Ole Miss target)
- 4-star WR Mannie Netherly
- 3-star DL Nelson Jenkins
In Thomas' first two seasons in Red Stick, he played a huge role in the Tigers claiming back-to-back top five signing classes in 2014 and 2015, which included signing the nation's top overall player in 2014. Not bad.
Before potentially making his way to Oxford, he was a director of recruiting and player personnel at Bowling Green, recruiting intern and defensive assistant at Tennessee, and several roles at Southern Cal that included defensive and recruiting assistant as well as assistant director of operations/recruiting.
Tyler Siskey, South Alabama wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator
Before he got to USA, he got his start in coaching at Troy as a student assistant then at Northwestern State as an offensive graduate assistant. Shortly after, he joined Hugh Freeze’s staff at Arkansas State where he eventually became a wide receivers coach and was a key cog in the Red Wolves setting single-season records for passing yards, completions, passing touchdowns, and passing yards per game.
In 2012 while in Oxford, he was the Rebels’ coordinator of recruiting development which in turn helped Freeze and Ole Miss sign a top 10 class that included five-stars Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell, Tony Conner, and eight more four-stars. All that was good enough to earn him the title of 2013 FootballScoop Director of Player Personnel of the Year.
But, Siskey’s big break was in 2013 when No. 21 Ole Miss traveled to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 1 Alabama with Siskey on Saban’s staff as assistant director of football operations. But, it seemed that that title included bird watching or some shit, too.
In all seriousness, touché. You do you. Your job is to help your employer win ball games. That’s it and that’s all. So, hey, we welcome back a talented recruiter and scout to a staff that desperately needs upgrades.
And if Saban thinks he’s good enough to add to his staff, then I think he is good enough for ours. He’s clearly not replacing Jacob Peeler so I would venture to think he is going to be some kind of recruiting analyst, director, coordinator, etc. It makes sense for Siskey to replace former staffer Bruce Johnson who has left Ole Miss for Indiana.
All jokes aside, the Alabama native should be another welcomed addition to the staff and will more than likely be working some recruiting capacity for Luke.
Since taking over as interim and then eventually being named head coach, Matt Luke has hired two former NFL coaches, a nationally-recognized wide receivers coach from the Pac 12, and is now probably adding two former SEC West staffers who were involved with humongous recruiting success and national titles.
Both of these hires, when completed mind you, will more than likely be in an off-the-field capacity, but the point remains, Luke has done a fantastic job in his first off-season as a head coach.
And yeah, when it is all said and done, I’d say Luke is 5-for-5 now.
Now let’s see what he does for a new linebackers coach.