We have talked about how the Ole Miss defense not only needs a better coach to lead them but also an overhaul of impact players to make their way to Oxford in order for them to improve. The 109th-ranked S&P+ defense in the country per Bill Connelly’s analytics system has all the room to improve. And the best way to do that outside of replacing Wesley McGriff is to bring in talented recruits.
Insert four-star cornerback Maurice Hampton.
Have yourself a night @maurice_hampton!— Sudu Upadhyay (@SuduUpadhyay) October 13, 2018
The MUS Class of 2019 4-Star prospect had 2 TDs..including an 87-yd punt return to the house...in a 38-0 win over Briarcrest.@OwlBuzz improve to 7-0 on the year and clinch a 1st round bye in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/sV8b6edmTj
And he’s talents aren’t just limited to the football field. The Memphis native is also a top-tier baseball recruit who most think has a good shot at going pro in baseball. But, for now the LSU commit is focused on his recruitment and deciding on whether or not to stick with his commitment to Ed Orgeron or to evaluate other options.
With all that said, can Ole Miss flip the nation’s No. 14 corner? Well, he is right up the road in East Memphis and is at a place that has been somewhat friendly to the Rebels in the past (former Owl Ben Still attended Ole Miss). The Under Armour All-American has unofficially visited Oxford three times this year and will officially visit Matt Luke and Co. on December 8th.
There is a lot to like if he were to choose to flip to the Rebels. LSU currently has one five-star and two four-stars committed for their 2019 class yet Ole Miss has three three-stars committed and just one four-star on the roster (who will be coming off major knee surgery).
Now, elite kids always think they can play anywhere, but if Maurice were to look at the depth chart, it could be rather appealing. And yes, I think he would be an instant impact guy in 2019 if he were to sign with the Rebs. And I’m talking in both sports.
As of this writing, the dynamic play maker from the 901 is slated to officially visit in January, the same weekend that four-star Ole Miss baseball/football commit Jerrion Ealy. And on top of that, his 247Sports Crystal Ball is currently split down the middle between LSU and Ole Miss. Could the Rebels be lurking for a Christmas flip?
The Memphis University School product was named Mr. Football in Tennessee for Division III-AAA and will compete in the state title game on Friday.
In 11 games in 2018, the 6’0, 205-pounder played both ways for the Owls, snagging 50 passes for 1,126 yards and 12 touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, most offenses avoided him at all costs, limiting him to just one interception and eight pass breakups. Hampton was also a game-changer on special teams, recording multiple touchdowns in the kick return game.
This will certainly be one to watch as the weeks go by and signing day gets closer and you best believe Mike Bianco wouldn’t mind having Mr. Hampton roaming the outfield at Swayze Field as well.
Who all is visiting Oxford this weekend?
There will be 10 current commits on campus and there will be six uncommitted or undecided prospects on campus, too. Let’s take a look at who will be here.
- 4-star WDE Sam Williams, No. 7 JUCO overall (commit)
- 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean, No. 15 overall
- 3-star CB Jamar Richardson, No. 76 overall (commit)
- 4-star WR Dannis Jackson, No. 109 overall (commit)
- 4-star CB Brandon Turnage, No. 111 overall
- 4-star OT Charles Cross, No. 203 overall
- 4-star CB Raydarious Jones, No. 347 overall
- 3-star SDE Zion Logue, No. 405 overall
- 3-star SDE Jamond Gordon, No. 511 overall
- 3-star WR Jordan Jernigan, No. 661 overall (commit)
- 3-star OT Jeremy James, No. 682 overall (commit)
- 3-star CB Jalen Jordan, No. 939 overall (commit)
- 3-star OG Bryce Ramsey, NR (commit)
- 3-star QB Kinkead Dent, NR (commit)
- 3-star OLB Eric Jeffries, NR (commit)
- 3-star Tavario Standifer, NR (commit)
Obviously the biggest target that will be on campus is five-star linebacker Nakobe Dean. The 247Sports Crystal Ball still favors Georgia at the moment, but in my opinion, it’s going to stay that way because Dean has been to several places and has played things close to the vest.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2018 Mr Football Nakobe Dean @KobeDean2 #ABOVETHELINE #teamDCS @EaglesHLHS pic.twitter.com/hHN3EpHr6E— Horn Lake Football (@HornLakeFB) November 29, 2018
With that said, I also am of the belief that the Rebels need to find a defensive coordinator before early signing period if they want a shot at him. But, they get to make their sales pitch to the Under Armour All-American this weekend before he officials to Baton Rouge before signing on early signing day.
But, we would be fools to not mention the importance of Alabama commit Brandon Turnage. The local product has been committed to the Tide for almost a year yet he stills unofficially visits the Rebels almost every single week. The Under Armour All-American will sign early and you best believe Matt Luke and his staff will give it everything they have to flip him.
Shock the world next season bro https://t.co/tdUF7nF3Hn— Brandon Turnage (@BallerNation10) November 23, 2018
Another defensive back that will be in town that is of high importance is “Raydar” Jones of Horn Lake. Dean’s four-star teammate plays quarterback for the Eagles but he will be a defensive back in college. He has elite speed (4.41 40-yard dash) and the length you want in a cornerback (6’2). His crystal ball is 100% to the Rebels and you can bet they want him in the boat sooner rather than later.
Second TD of the day for @HornLakeFB after the run by Raydarious Jones @_tygotit pic.twitter.com/oXd7YXTF9p— FloFootball (@FloFootball) September 8, 2018
Four-star offensive tackle Charles Cross is also going to be in town and the former Florida State commit is going to also get lots of attention this weekend. The U.S. All-American tackle is ranked 19th at his position and despite Mississippi State leading the charge on his crystal ball, offensive line coach Jack Bicknell will give his best “come here to help us replace Greg Little” speech.
And lastly, on the other side of the line, two big-time three-stars are in town and Freddie Roach will try his hardest to flip them. Auburn commit Jamond Gordon and Georgia commit Zion Logue will join the aforementioned targets and commits in Oxford this weekend and will almost certainly get the full-court press.
It Means More Then Football To Him https://t.co/IZumBOETVl— તે ઉત્સાહ છે (@Ballout_23) October 15, 2018
Gordon, who was at one-point committed to Ole Miss, has just one official visit planned. To Ole Miss. And he’s been tweeting about the Rebs lately, too.
Logue is a Tennessee product who committed to Georgia earlier this summer but will still take in an official visit this weekend in the Velvet Ditch. And like Gordon, it is his only official visit scheduled right now. With him signing in December, one would imagine that this is the Rebels’ chance to convince him to flip.