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Here are the most important Ole Miss recruits visiting for the Alabama game

All the dang croots are coming to town.

Southern Illinois v Mississippi Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Fans aren’t the only ones exited about this weekend’s Ole Miss-Alabama game in Oxford. The Rebel coaching staff is hosting upwards of 60 high school prospects on Saturday, including some big-time talent.

Matt Luke and his staff are currently sitting at 17th in the 247Sports’ team rankings, a number that could fluctuate greatly depending on how Ole Miss finishes the 2018 season. Playing Bama even reasonably close will go a long way toward convincing prospects that Luke has the Rebels moving in the right direction. It could be a big momentum shift for guys like five-star Nakobe Dean and four-star Brandon Turnage.

In addition to the 23 visitors currently committed to the Rebels, there will be dozens of top prospects Ole Miss is still trying to haul into the boat. Here are some of the top names to know.

This list was accumulated by Russell Johnson at and crosschecked against Twitter by us. All ratings are pulled from the 247Sports composite.


5-star Nakobe Dean

Overall rank: 15
Inside linebacker rank: 1
Hometown: Horn Lake, Miss.

The No. 1 overall target for Matt Luke recently said he does not have a leader at this point. He will be in town to take in the contest between two of his presumed finalists.

4-star Brandon Turnage

Overall rank: 115
Athlete rank: 8
Hometown: Oxford, Miss.

The Oxford kid committed to the Tide back in December but has been on campus in Oxford unofficially almost every single free moment he has. The 247 Crystal Ball thinks he’ll end up with the Rebels.

4-star Byron Young

Overall rank: 117
Strong-side defensive end rank: 9
Hometown: Laurel, Miss.

Another Crimson Tide commit, Young pledged earlier this summer but his Crystal Ball still favors the Rebs. The All-American Bowl participant might be the Rebels’ No. 2 target behind Dean.

4-star Bill Norton

Overall rank: 131
Strong-side defensive end rank: 11
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

The Rebels need to replace a lot up front after 2018 and Norton would be a good start. Problem is, he’s currently a Georgia commit.

4-star Eric Gray

Overall rank: 217
All-purpose back rank: 1
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

Gray committed to Michigan this summer but is still arguably the top target for Ole Miss on offense. The All-American Bowl participant is a cheat code on the field and would be a perfect fit for the Fast & Furious offense.

3-star Jalen Wydermyer

Overall rank: 380
Tight end rank: 19
Hometown: Dickinson, Tex.

Ole Miss still hasn’t received a commitment from a tight end in this class. Wydermyer would be a great place to start. It appears to be a battle between Texas A&M and the Rebs.

3-star Zion Logue

Overall rank: 394
Strong-side defensive end rank: 26
Hometown: Lebanon, Tenn.

At one point he was believed to be an Ole Miss lean before abruptly committing to Georgia earlier this summer. Still, there’s a chance he could turn away from the Bulldogs as Kirby Smart continues to add blue-chip after blue-chip to his class.

3-star K.J. Jefferson

Overall rank: 403
Dual-threat quarterback rank: 13
Hometown: Sardis, Miss.

Rebel OC Phil Longo already has a QB commit in this class, but he’s keeping a close eye on Jefferson, who’s currently committed to Arkansas. The 6’3, 211-pound signal caller runs a 4.6 40 and can heave it deep with ease.

3-star Jamond Gordon

Overall rank: 497
Weak-side defensive end rank: 41
Hometown: Meridian, Miss.

A former Ole Miss commit, Gordon has since flipped to Auburn. Like Norton above, Gordon is a prime flip candidate due to his position and its great need for 2019.

3-star Raydarious Jones

Overall rank: 515
Athlete rank: 47
Hometown: Horn Lake, Miss.

Nakobe Dean’s teammate at Horn Lake is no slouch. He plays both sides of the ball for the Eagles and would be a welcomed addition in Oxford. Ole Miss is the favorite for the 6’2 defensive back.


4-star Tank Bigsby

Overall rank: 41
Running back rank: 15
Hometown: Hogansville, Ga.

The Peach State back may be next in line to join UGA’s RBU, but for now it appears to be a three-team race between the Bulldogs, Auburn, and Ole Miss.

4-star Keshawn Lawrence

Overall rank: 69
Cornerback rank: 8
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.

The do-it-all play maker at Ensworth is coached by former Ole Miss Rebel Jeremy Garrett and will be a big-time target for the 2020 class. He holds offers from just about everyone in the SEC.

4-star Chris Morris

Overall rank: 119
Offensive tackle rank: 15
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

The Rebs have committed several linemen in 2018 but it’s always next man up in the trenches. Morris holds big-time offers from programs like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Penn State.

4-star Marcus Henderson

Overall rank: 133
Offensive tackle rank: 18
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

The Memphis University School big man has already been to campus unofficially four times this year. And for good reason, head coach Matt Luke is his primary recruiter. Ole Miss is the leader at the moment and he could be close to pulling the trigger soon.

4-star Omari Thomas

Overall rank: 138
Offensive tackle rank: 20
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

Another impact tackle just up the road, Thomas is no stranger to Oxford. It’s early, but he seems to favor two teams: Alabama and Ole Miss. He will get a good look at both of them on Saturday.

4-star Bryson Eason

Overall rank: 150
Inside linebacker rank: 5
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

The Whitehaven junior has offers from just about everyone and seems to be pretty wide open at this point. Hopefully he sees the immediate need for linebackers in Oxford when he’s on the sidelines.

4-star Jeremiah Pegues

Overall rank: 151
Athlete rank: 10
Hometown: Oxford, Miss.

If I had to pick who would be the next prospect to join the 2020 class, it would be the big man from Oxford High. Despite heavy pursuit from Nick Saban, the Rebels are the presumed favorite and he, too, hangs around the IPF quite a bit.

4-star Josaih Hayes

Overall rank: 215
Defensive tackle rank: 18
Hometown: Horn Lake, Miss.

Dean and Jones’ teammate has been offered by Alabama and Georgia already but the Rebs have an early lead on them. For now.

4-star Martavius French

Overall rank: 325
Inside linebacker rank: 10
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

Eason’s teammate at Whitehaven holds early offers from Florida, LSU, and Tennessee among others but hasn’t tipped his hand yet.

3-star Jakivuan Brown

Overall rank: 567
Tight end rank: 15
Hometown: Horn Lake, Miss.

Another Horn Lake target that would be a perfect tight end in offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s offense. Baylor and LSU also seem to think he’d be a nice addition, but the Rebels are the early leader per his Crystal Ball.