Ole Miss fans expected new head coach Lane Kiffin to be a recruiting boost even given a short timeline from his hire to February’s National Signing Day.
Chalk four-star defensive end Demon Clowney up as an expectation met for the fans after he committed to the Rebels Monday evening, as first reported by Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report.
Kiffin is still piecing together a staff as NSD gets closer and closer. But, staff uncertainty hasn’t stopped him from swiping a top-100 player away from the clutches of programs like Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, and Texas A&M. And a mere one day after a four-star running back from Florida committed.
The Baltimore, Md. product by way of St. Frances Academy committed to LSU in March 2019, but he opted not to sign in December and eventually de-committed. Then, once his recruitment was open, Kiffin and his staff wasted little time making in-roads.
Then, when Chris Partridge joined the Ole Miss staff, all bets were essentially off. The former Michigan staffer, who was trying to convince him to join him in Ann Arbor. quickly changed his tune for a place farther south.
The No. 78 player in the country joins the 12 signees from December and the four verbal commits in the 2020 class. Clowney, the cousin of the former No. 1 overall player in the country and current Seattle Seahawk (Jadeveon), chose the Rebels over the aforementioned programs as well as notable offers from Miami, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
I don’t think it can be expressed how big of a deal this is a mere two months after Ole Miss lost in Starkville and went 4-8. Clowney had several Power 5 offers to choose from and the Rebels were able to convince him to join them in its quest to rebuild the tarnished image that is a reeling Landsharks Defense. You can’t say enough about what Kiffin and his staff have been able to do in such a short time in a transition class.
It’s honestly quite remarkable.
As a senior at SFA, the nation’s No. 5 weak-side defensive end helped the Panthers to an 11-1 record and a top-five finish in USA Today’s Super 25 rankings.
How does he fit in?
The 6’5, 215-pounder has the ideal frame for a 3-4 outside linebacker but could just as easily grow into a 250-pound 4-3 end if need be. Like his cousin, he is long, athletic, and explosive at the point of attack. He already seems to have a knack for creating havoc in traffic and in space and he will be an immediate impact player for the Ole Miss defense in 2020.
Sure, he will need to add some strength like any freshman, but he has the intangibles, speed, and quickness necessary to make his mark sooner rather than later. D.J. Durkin and Partridge have their first blue-chip prospect to work with and, in my opinion, he will be their first elite playmaker to point to on the recruiting trail.
“See what he’s done? That can be you next.”