Ole Miss and defensive line coach Freddie Roach certainly know the importance of building up depth on the front lines in the Southeastern Conference. If you want to compete in the SEC West, you must have a big and physical defensive line.
After signing six defensive linemen in 2018, Roach is continuing to add to his room in 2019 with the commitment of JUCO hybrid linebacker/end Sam Williams and three-star Patrick Lucas.
And now Freddie has added a big-time target, someone who will certainly be an impact player as soon as he steps foot on campus.
Three-star weak-side defensive end Brandon Mack de-committed from Pittsburgh earlier this month and has verbally committed to Roach and Matt Luke despite hot pursuit from Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, and Auburn among others per Russell Johnson of Rebel Grove.
The No. 42 weak-side defensive end in the country committed to Pittsburgh back in June but has now decided to move West and enhance the #MississippiMade brand with his verbal pledge despite notable offers from Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, and Mississippi State among others.
The Montgomery, Ala. native was a monster for Davis High School in 2018, collecting 68 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and one forced fumble, leading the Volunteers in every major defensive statistical category.
Despite his only official visits being to Florida Atlantic, Missouri, Nebraska, and Pitt, Roach and Tyler Siskey were able to beat out the rest for the last official to secure his commitment. The MS/AL All-Star Game selection is a big-time get despite only being a three-star and should see significant playing time in 2019.
How does he fit in?
Brandon is a gifted defensive lineman who should be an immediate impact guy once he steps foot on campus. He moves extremely well for a young man his size (6’4, 240-pounds) and shows impressive strength against offensive tackles. He has plenty of athleticism that helps him beat tackles off the edge and he has plenty of strength when dealing with guards and centers on the interior.
Mack is very violent at the point of attack, utilizing his hands and length to get separation from bigger lineman before shedding it and locating the football. He gets lateral at the line of scrimmage well when in pursuit and can run down a running back from the backside. Ole Miss stands to lose quite a bit up front after 2018 so beefing up the end position is a major key, especially when you struggled MIGHTILY to sack the quarterback.
Even though he could use a little bit of fine-tuning with his hand placement, additional moves to his repertoire, and some trimming, he is as Power 5 ready as anyone in this class. He has the perfect frame for a 3-4 outside linebacker or a hand in the dirt defensive end in a 4-2-5. I really like this pick up and, in my opinion, the Yellowhammer State prospect will no doubt be an instant impact dude in 2019.