Jaron Willis took the top spot as the highest ranked recruit in this year’s Ole Miss signing class, so far. He committed to the Rebels live on CBS Sports Wednesday afternoon for the first day of the early signing period.
He is ranked the nation’s No. 17 linebacker and No. 170 player according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Leesburg, GA native is the highest rated linebacker commit for the Rebels since 2017 when Breon Dixon signed.
With offers from over 28 schools including Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, and Georgia Tech, he is one of the most sought after defensive recruits in this recruiting class.
And his last name is Willis.
Willis has been committed to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but de-committed on Dec. 9. He has played safety for the majority of his time in high school at safety, but due to his size, will most likely line up at linebacker in the 2022 season.
Ole Miss had a little help when recruiting the 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker. Willis attends Lee County High School, the alma mater of current Ole Miss football players Mark Robinson and Otis Reese.
The Rebels have struggled to recruit well at the linebacker position in recent years, and have only signed one freshman inside linebacker in the past two recruiting cycles. This recruiting class, Lane Kiffin and his coaching staff have picked up junior college transfer Reginald Hughes and three-star linebacker Jaylon White.
The defense has shown massive improvement this year, after finding themselves at the bottom of almost every major defensive category throughout the 2020 season. While there has been a significant jump in stats from the Landshark defense, it’s worth noting that the majority of the talent on defense is out of eligibility or will most likely be declaring for the draft at the conclusion of the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. Replacing veteran talent with freshman is never ideal, but when bringing in players like Jaron Willis, it makes things much easier.