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Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game 2018: Ole Miss targets to keep an eye on

This year’s edition is loaded with talent.

Jason Jordan-USA Today

Tonight at 6:30pm CST, the Magnolia State and the Yellowhammer State will do battle for the right to brag for another year about an all-star game that is played every single year in the 12th month of the year. The teams are comprised of various prep players from each state and this year, and despite only two Ole Miss commits taking part on the Mississippi squad, there are several commits competing for team Alabama.

Montgomery, Ala. will play host this year for the 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game at M.M. Roberts Stadium on December 17th and can be seen on Raycom Network (MEMORIES) on these local channels.

The all-time record is in favor of Alabama (22-9 overall) but the ‘ssip has won two of the last three. And last year, Mississippi whipped Alabama, winning 42-7, which is good enough for the largest margin of defeat in the series.

There are several Ole Miss commits competing in this one from both states, but we are going to focus on those that are either undecided or committed elsewhere.

(You can check out the full roster for both teams right here.)

Here are the ones to keep an eye on tonight.

5-star ILB Nakobe Dean

The Horn Lake linebacker is wanted by just about everyone but Alabama, Georgia, and Ole Miss seem to be the front-runners for his services. The five-star 6A Player of the Year has been the Rebels’ top target going on almost two years now and will be trying to fend off the Tide and the Bulldogs in order to sign him on Wednesday, exercising demons at the position and ridding themselves of the awful taste in their mouth still lingering from Cam Akers.

Alabama currently leads the 6’0, 220-pounder’s 247Sports Crystal Ball with Georgia and Ole Miss following respectively.

4-star SDE Byron Young

Speaking of Alabama, the four-star strong-side defensive end is another one to keep tabs on tonight. He has been committed to Alabama since the summer but recently opted to wait and sign in February instead of early this week with Alabama. This could bode well for defensive line coach Freddie Roach and Ole Miss who have been after Mr. Young hard trying to flip him, leading his crystal ball race despite his commitment to the Tide.

The Rebels will host him in January for an official visit and hope to have the last word before he signs in 2019. And the important thing to remember here is that he has already used his official to Alabama earlier this month.

4-star OT Charles Cross

The Mississippi State commit is the best offensive lineman in the state and it’s not even close. In my opinion, the 6’5, 270-pounder from Laurel has elite feet and once he grows into his frame, he will be a surefire 1st or 2nd round offensive tackle. The former Florida State commit decommitted and verbally pledged to the Bulldogs earlier this month, but the Rebels are still going after him hard.

Because it is the dead period, Ole Miss cannot contact Charles, but make no mistake about it, flipping him would certainly bolster an already STRONG offensive line class for Ole Miss.

4-star SDE Jaren Handy

Another big-time defensive end to watch as well is the Auburn commit from Hattiesburg. Handy, who committed to the Tigers in the summer, will visit Oxford with Young in January and will almost certainly listen to Roach’s final sales pitch to come play for him at Ole Miss.

He seemed to like when his high school teammate, three-star running back Snoop Conner, committed to Ole Miss and the Rebels would love nothing more than to get him in the boat as well to help rebuild their defensive line. The Rebs and Tigers are 50/50 right now for the 6’5, 278-pounder per his crystal ball.

4-star QB John Rhys Plumlee

Going over to the offensive side of the ball, the Georgia commit has become quite the trending topic lately in Ole Miss circles. He committed to Kirby Smart in the summer but has since seen his crystal ball move in heavy favor of the good guys. The do-it-all quarterback from Oak Grove was recently told that Georgia wanted to blue shirt him and he could be rethinking his options now because of it.

Another huge part of completing this flip would be to get the one they call “Hollywood” on the diamond at Swayze Field as well. The Perfect Game All-American infielder hit .455 for the Warriors as a junior and stole 23 bases. The 6’1, 185-pounder is also an accomplished pianist and singer. Who knew?

4-star ATH Raydar Jones

One of the more intriguing storylines to watch this week before early signing day is that of four-star athlete Raydarious Jones, Nakobe Dean’s teammate at Horn Lake. The 6’2, 170-pound quarterback/defensive back has long been thought to be an Ole Miss lean, but after an official visit to LSU, his crystal ball is trending to the Tigers. The Horn Lake quarterback went toe-to-toe with Plumlee in the 6A title game and was impressive in his own right. But, most project him to end up at cornerback because of his elite speed and length.

Despite the recent movement, the No. 19 athlete in the country could potentially be swayed by his teammate. If Dean were to pick the Rebels on Wednesday, who is to say that Jones wouldn’t join him to try and help rectify the Landshark defense? But, the Tigers are DBU so that is going to be tough to beat. They will both sign on Wednesday at 1:20pm CST.

3-star DT Le’Darrius Cox

The big man has been committed to Tennessee since April, but he seems adamant to take his visits and see his decision through. The 6’4, 305-pounder will visit the same weekend as Young and Handy and the Rebels would love nothing more than to flip him and add him to the fold. He is very active on Twitter, whether it is congratulating Ole Miss commit Patrick Lucas or commenting on Coach Roach’s biceps.

This flip would be quite the coup. Especially because the Rebels will need to replace All-SEC defensive tackle Benito Jones after next season and Cox would not only be perfect to do that, but he would also be a key cog in new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre’s 3-4 defense.

3-star RB A’Montae Spivey

The 6’0, 208-pound back from Phenix City, Ala. might be committed to Arkansas, but he is beginning to trend the Rebels’ way as of late. Since it is quite clear that four-star Eric Gray is more than likely picking Tennessee on Wednesday, Ole Miss has been all gas, no brakes in their pursuit of the Central High School star who just wrapped up a state title senior season where he ran for 1,338 yards and 19 touchdowns.

He, too, will visit Oxford for the big weekend in January and will sign in February. It will be fun to watch Spivey go at it tonight against the uber-talented Mississippi defensive line.