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Ole Miss NSD 2018 Recap: Rebs finish at No. 31 in team rankings

Second straight year with a top 35 class.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Louisiana at Mississippi Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After missing out on a number of targets on National Signing Day, the 2018 Ole Miss recruiting class checked in at no. 31 on 247 Sports’ composite rankings. It is the second straight year that the Rebel recruiting class is ranked 30th after beginning the day at No. 28.

Although it may seem like there wasn’t an improvement over last year’s class, the Rebels improved from 12th to 10th in the SEC, ahead of Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Arkansas. This year’s class should provide a lot of depth, especially along the defensive line, and 4-star quarterback Matt Corral looks like the Rebel quarterback of the future. It also should be noted that Matt Luke and co. were able to pull this off despite dealing with the aftermath of a five-year NCAA witch hunt and a postseason ban in 2018.

Although most of the class signed during the early signing period back in December, today’s headliner for the Rebels was former Southern California defensive tackle Noah Jefferson, who should be able to step in for the departed Breeland Speaks, and should continue to make Florida fans mad on the line.

Despite missing out on a few signatures from notable targets Tommy Bush, Tank Jenkins, and Charles Strong, 15 of the 21 signed prospects are on the defensive side of the ball. Phil Longo and his offense were cooking in 2017, but the defense was far behind. If Ole Miss is going to improve on their 6-6 mark, they will need Wesley McGriff’s defense to make some adjustments and get some stops in 2018.

This year’s recruiting cycle, they took a few steps forward to doing that, regardless of the ranking. Now, we look ahead to 2019 where they can take a few more steps forward on defense. Especially within the Magnolia State. Eight of the top 10 prospects in Mississippi are defensive prospects.

If Ole Miss is indeed #MississippiMade in 2019, it could go a long way.