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Ole Miss football recruiting: Lane Kiffin is zeroing in on a 2021 quarterback

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And can the Rebels and Mike Bianco snag yet another two-sport star?

Ronald Cortes-Houston Chronicle

Sure, COVID-19 has completely shut down sports for now, but as you all know, recruiting never stops.

This still holds true despite no in-person contact and campus visits. First-year Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and his staff have been extremely active, submitting offers left and right for this year’s cycle.

One position that is almost always the focal point of everyone’s recruiting class is quarterback. The Rebels return redshirt sophomore Matt Corral, sophomore John Rhys Plumlee, and freshmen Kinkead Dent and Grant Tisdale, but Jeff Lebby’s room most likely won’t have all of those names come fall due to over-crowding.

With that, the 2021 class needs a quarterback.

Kiffin has handed out 16 total offers in this class, but it seems that they are focusing in on two targets for the time being.

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Three-star Shadow Creek (Tex.) dual-threat quarterback Kyron Drones announced a top-six and the Rebels made the cut. The Sharks’ signal caller led them to a 16-0 2019 season and a 5A D-I state title behind 3,402 yards and 46 touchdowns through the air and 825 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground.

Drones is not only a phenomenal name, but he can play some quarterback, too. The 6’2, 198-pounder was named the state championship game’s offensive MVP and should be (if the season happens) poised to have another big year.

He already plays for a team named the Sharks so the transition would be seamless.

Another Texas QB is on the Rebels’ radar.

Another quarterback the Rebels are after from the Lone Star State is Cedar Hill’s Kaidon Salter.

The District 7-6A MVP led the Longhorns to a 9-3 record and a Texas 6A D-II second-round playoff appearance last season, throwing for 2,550 yards and 28 touchdowns while also chipping in 616 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

The 6’1, 185-pounder is an explosive playmaker much like Drones and would be a welcomed addition to the 2021 class.

Kiffin and Lebby would love to add either of these ultra-productive dudes in the 2021 class and their recruitments will be watched closely no doubt.

Can Ole Miss beat Ohio State for a two-sport star from New Jersey?

Four-star defensive tackle Tywone Malone is focusing on four schools right now. Ohio State, Ole Miss, Rutgers, and Texas A&M are standing out to the Bergen Catholic (N.J.) star, per Mike Farrell of Rivals.

The nation’s No. 41 overall player and 4th-ranked defensive tackle appears to have the Buckeyes out front for now, but the Rebels have quite the ace up their sleeves.

Malone also wants to play baseball at the next level.

And the 6’4, 300-pound first baseman doesn’t just do it in the spring for conditioning or another hobby, kid can flat out swing it.

Ole Miss and co-defensive coordinator Chris Partridge, Malone’s primary recruiter, have been adamant throughout the early goings of his recruitment that he would be more than able to play both sports in Oxford. And when looking at his top four, the Aggies are the only other team that can pose a legitimate threat on the diamond.

Partridge’s Northeast connections are paying dividends already, keeping the Rebels in it for a top-50 talent like Malone. Now if they can close, however, that would be quite the coup.

For Partridge and Mike Bianco.

Could the Rebs add a former Mississippi State defensive tackle?

Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach made headlines last week for his rather tone deaf tweet that has since been deleted of an elderly woman knitting a scarf in the shape of a noose, joking that quarantine was making her want to kill her husband with it.

The hangman’s knot in the image upset multiple Mississippi State football players and a Mississippi State University professor took exception to the tweet as well.

It also obviously upset sophomore defensive tackle Fabien Lovett who has since entered the transfer portal after Leach’s tweetgate.

Ole Miss has reached out to the former Bulldog and could be up for a battle with the Oregon Ducks who now have former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead on staff as their offensive coordinator. The Rebels desperately need help on the defensive line after two not-so great recruiting classes up front.

The former three-star and 37th-ranked defensive tackle would be a welcomed addition to Deke Adams’ room since the Rebels will lose Hal Northern and Tariqious Tisdale after the 2020 season.

Lovett played in just two games and redshirted in 2018. Last season, he finished with 19 total tackles and a sack for the Bulldogs.