An interesting situation is developing with a trio of 2023 running back recruits who are all being recruited by Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. Picayune’s Dante Dowdell committed to Oregon this May, a bit of a surprise to the recruiting world. Had the four-star rusher picked Ole Miss instead, the Rebels might have called it a day at the running back position for 2023. Instead, Ole Miss continued to recruit Dante Dowdell, but also turned up the heat on Fort Lauderdale prospect Christopher Johnson, and later emerged as the favorite to land New Caney, TX back Kedrick Reescano.
I keep hearing conflicting things on Dowdell and the likelihood of him sticking with the Fightin’ Phil Knights. After his commitment, some crootin’ guys said it was only a matter of time before Dowdell would decide to stick closer to home. Then, those same crootin’ guys said Dowdell seemed increasingly solid to Oregon. Now, Dowdell is going to be in Oxford for the Egg Bowl. Dowdell has definitely kept quiet, and like his original commitment to Oregon, his final decision may well be a surprise.
Johnson, more of a speedster than Dowdell or Reescano, seemed like a de facto Miami commit for quite a while, until it became apparent that Miami is now absolutely butt at playing football. Johnson showed up as an official visitor for the Alabama game, and afterwards, 247Sports recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins cast his pick for the Florida RB to sign with Ole Miss.
Reescano, meanwhile, appears to heavily favor Ole Miss, to the point where no other team has really emerged as a major suitor for the #9 back in the country after his decommitment from Michigan State. Only thing with Reescano is that he may be planning to sign in the late signing period, while the other two recruits will sign in December (if I understand correctly).
So what does Ole Miss do? They likely want to sign two of these three guys; failing that, they hope to sign one and then grab a running back from the portal. But how they rank the three in terms of priority, how all three guys rank Ole Miss, and whether or not they’re cool with being one of two backs in the class, all remain to be seen.
The running back situation is shaping up to be one of the more important components of the 2023 recruiting class. The Rebs have spent most of the 2022 season with one healthy running back, and 2023 isn’t necessarily looking much brighter. Quinshon Judkins and Ulysses Bentley return, but Zach Evans is probably NFL-bound, and Kentrell Bullock’s status is uncertain.
In other news: Marerro, Louisiana offensive tackle Tyree Adams announced plans for an official visit to Ole Miss after the regular season ends. Adams is an LSU commit, ranked the #182 player in the country according to On3’s composite rankings. Adams’ visit is an interesting one; his commitment to LSU was considered pretty solid, and it’s always near-impossible for Ole Miss to pull a player out of Louisiana if they’re wanted by LSU. But, why visit on a random weekend in December if you’re not seriously weighing your options? For what it’s worth, Adams did visit Ole Miss in April, and there appeared to be quite a bit of interest on his part at the time. Adams would certainly be a marquee addition to an offensive line class that currently has quality, but lacks in quantity, with only two commits.