Cedrick Nicely received his offer just two days ago, but that was all he needed.
The three-star offensive tackle pulled the trigger and verbally committed to the Rebels on Friday, choosing Ole Miss over notable offers from Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and South Florida. The Gainesville, Ga. native brings some beef to an offensive line that is starting to come into its own in Jeff Lebby’s power spread scheme, powering sophomores Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy to early success in 2020.
Nicely plays 7A football in Georgia so the competition is certainly there every Friday and the big-bodied senior is certainly someone that Lebby and offensive line coach Randy Clements pinpointed and prioritized during their evaluations.
Nicely is the Rebels’ 14th commit in the 2021 class, joining three-star Micah Pettus on the offensive line.
How does he fit in?
The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder is a load up front. He currently plays left tackle for the Red Elephants, but could slide inside in college if need be. He’s an aggressive run blocker at the point of attack that has no qualms about finishing blocks downfield. He’s pretty nimble for a big guy, moving well when pulling on inside zone plays and getting out in space to the second level.
I mentioned his athleticism and it shows on the tape. At his size, you can’t have enough offensive linemen that 300-pounds or bigger and move extremely well. He should be able to get to Oxford, get in the weightroom with Wilson Love, and be ready to contribute up front for Clements. As I mentioned above, he plays in the highest classification in Georgia which will help with the acclimation process to SEC football, but I anticipate them fine-tuning his pass sets and having him ready to challenge for a spot in the two-deep for 2022.
The fact remains, though, Lebby and Clements submitted the offer and were able to receive a verbal pledge in two days. It again speaks volumes to what this staff has been able to do in a COVID-effected recruiting cycle. Also, having two dudes combine for 248 yards rushing against Nick Saban doesn’t hurt when recruiting road graters like Nicely.