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Whiskey Wednesday’s Recruiting Hangover: Let’s Port In Some Receivers!

...and/or tight ends

Kentucky v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Hello again, fellow recruiting aficionados! Portal season officially opens Monday, December 5, and players across the land are already making Hayes Fawcett work overtime drafting up ridiculous graphics for their respective transfer announcements. So far, eight scholarship players from Ole Miss have expressed their intent to jump in the portal, clearing up space for eight more newcomers on the 2023 Rebel squad.

Those eight players are:

  • QB Luke Altmeyer
  • RB Kentrell Bullock
  • RB Isaiah Woullard
  • WR Dannis Jackson
  • EDGE Demon Clowney
  • EDGE Brandon Mack
  • DB Derek Bermudez
  • DB MJ Daniels

It’s tough to blame any of these guys for exploring their other options; all eight are talented players Ole Miss was excited to sign, but had trouble cracking the rotation at their respective positions.

Right now, we don’t have a great idea of who Ole Miss will target to replace these scholarship spots, so we’re not going to wildly speculate. Wait, what’s that? You WANT us to wildly speculate? If you insist…

So this week, we’re going to focus on two major positions of need: wide receiver and tight end. The Rebs lose Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath, by far their two most productive wideouts, and the status of tight ends Michael Trigg and Casey Kelly are both up in the air after both had shaky seasons marred by injuries.

Let’s start off with a handful of wide receivers who have already announced their intent to hit the portal, and whose names have already been bounced around as likely Ole Miss targets:

Alabama WR Traeshon Holden: Holden, a 6’3 junior, was Alabama’s third option at wideout this season, and its fourth-leading receiver (RB Jahmyr Gibbs was third on the team in receiving yards). The class of 2020 prospect is probably the most likely portal receiver to wind up at Ole Miss; rumors circulated last offseason that Holden would transfer to Oxford.

Oklahoma WR Theo Wease: Wease, a 6’3 member of the 2019 class, was Oklahoma’s third wide receiver and fourth on the team in receiving yards. A five-star recruit according to some services, he was ranked the consensus #23 player in the 2019 class. Wease could join Lincon Riley and Caleb Williams at Southern Cal, but the Trojans are in better shape than Ole Miss in the WR department. Like Holden, Wease was reportedly considering a move to Oxford last offseason.

Oregon WR Dont’e Thornton: a 6’5 rising junior, Thornton had 9 receptions for 175 yards as a freshman and 17 for 366 as a sophomore, good for fourth on the team. Thornton was the consensus #71 player in the 2021 class.

Texas A&M WR Demond Demas: haha ok, so this is a tricky one. Demas will be a junior next year, and was the consensus #23 player overall in the 2020 class. Like the three receivers above, he’s a big-bodied wideout at 6’3; he’s also talked openly about transferring to Ole Miss on Instagram multiple times over the last few months. Great, right? Well, Demas has gotten himself in legal trouble, kicked off the A&M football team, and his exact legal status is unknown. He was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend in an altercation this March. Like Thronton, his production to date isn’t exactly inspiring; Demas caught 15 balls for 235 yards and a single score last year. To Demas’ credit, he was called “a solid young man and a generational talent” … by his defense attorney. Maybe Kiffin should take a pass here?

The next batch of receivers I haven’t seen specifically mentioned as Ole Miss targets, but all of these guys will have options with high-level programs, and will likely at least earn a hard look from the Rebel coaching staff:

Mizzou WR Dominic Lovett: while Lovett stands just 5’10, and wasn’t nearly as heralded as the guys in the above group as a recruit, he does possess…actual good production at the college level. He caught 56 passes for 846 yards this year.

Charlotte WR Grant Dubose: it’s always hard to tell how players from smaller conferences will translate to the SEC, but Dubose is 6’3, 200lbs, and in two years at Charlotte has caught 126 balls for 1684 yards and 15 TDs, which seems good?

Florida WR Daejon Reynolds: at 6’2, 210lbs, Reynolds was the Gators’ fourth-leading receiver as a redshirt freshman this year with 11 catches for 244 yards and two scores.

Texas WR Xavier Worthy: Worthy hasn’t yet declared his intent to enter the portal, but there is definitely concern on the Longhorns’ coaching staff that he will. The 6’1 wideout was the #51 player in the 2021 class, and has been wildly productive in two years at Texas, with 115 catches for 1,657 yards and 21 touchdowns. Recent reports from UT blogs suggest Worthy is leaning towards staying, but he immediately shoots to the top of everyone’s list if he hits the portal.

I haven’t heard or read any noise about specific tight ends Ole Miss will target in the portal, and the position currently looks like it’s at a bit of a premium. Here are four guys that have attracted big offers, or are likely to:

Shorter University TE Kyle Morlock: standing 6’7 tall, Morlock decided he wasn’t a cultural fit at Shorter University (get it?). Having entered the portal, the two-time DII All-American quickly collected offers from LSU, Tennessee, Florida State, Auburn, Pitt, West Virginia, Mizzou, NC State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and others. Sounds like he’s probably good!

Maryland TE CJ Dippre: as a sophomore at Maryland, Dippre caught 30 passes for 314 yards and 3 TDs. He’s listed at 6’5 and 245lbs.

FIU TE Rivaldo Fairweather: another productive sophomore, Fairweather reeled in 28 passes in 2022 for 426 yards and 3 TDs.

Arkansas TE Erin Outley: Outley hasn’t registered any stats in two years in Fayetteville, so maybe he’s not the most likely target for Kiffin and co. Still, he had solid offers out of high school and good size.