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Whiskey Wednesday’s recruiting hangover: where does Ole Miss stand with the class of 2023?

JuiceFest, #CometotheSip and all the crootin’ coverage

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor v Ole Miss Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Hello, my name is Whiskey Wednesday. It’s on my birth certificate; weird, I know! I get that all the time.

Anyways, I started writing for this website in 2007, back in the day when Ed Orgeron was the head coach at Ole Miss and – not coincidentally – writing funny stuff about the program was very easy.

At the time I was in school at Ole Miss, I wrote very angry, off-the-cuff post game reports, other football odds and ends, and the occasional long form article I would likely be mortified to read now. Sometime around 2010, I left Oxford, got wrapped up in “Being An Adult (Or At Least Trying)”, and joined the slow exodus of original Red Solo Cup writers (please don’t sue!) as we proudly left the blog in the much more capable hands of people who actually work in journalism and stuff.

Like many RCR alumni, I’ve hung around in the background, appearing on the occasional podcast, writing a recruiting article or position preview here and there, and generally being a jackass and distracting people on our Slack channel. This year, I’m fortunate to be in a position to write more regularly, at a time when The Cup had a need for a recruiting writer. If I’m reading correctly, the last football recruiting article on Red Cup Rebellion (dot com) was penned on May 27, 2022, and a fair amount of recruiting things have happened since then.

In subsequent editions of Whiskey Wednesday’s Thursday Hangover (get it?!) we’ll talk more about prospects, upcoming visits, the transfer portal, and the general outlook for Ole Miss recruiting in general, but this week, let’s go over the four (4) commitments Lane Kiffin and co. have collected since that May 27 update. All four commits came during the July 29-31 weekend, when Ole Miss hosted a slew of talented prospects.

Brown is rated the No. 253 high school player in the country in the On3 consensus rankings, the No. 34 ranked defensive lineman and the No. 5 player from Mississippi. The 6’3, 270lb Brown is generally considered the top defensive lineman in the state, and he committed to Ole Miss on July 29, instead of in a teeth-grinding hat ceremony on National Signing Day. Neat! (Hudl highlights)

  • Neeo Avery, defensive lineman/edge, Our Lady Of Good Counsel High School, Oleny, MD

Avery is the No. 254 player in the country according to On3’s consensus, a single spot behind Brown. Avery is listed as an “athlete” in On3’s database, having played multiple positions in high school, but widely projects as a rangy edge defender at 6’4.5” and 225lbs. Avery committed to Ole Miss on July 31 over offers from in-state Maryland, Penn State, Kentucky, and Georgia, among others. Avery’s commitment marked the only time any of us can remember when two 4-star defensive linemen committed to the Rebs in a single weekend. His recruitment also continues the wave of talented defenders making their way to Ole Miss from deep in ACC/Big 10/Big East country. Under Kiffin, the Rebs have pulled Demon Clowney, Tywone Malone, Tysheem Johnson, transfer Chance Campbell, and Davison Igbinosun from Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Iowa State transfer Isheem Young is also from Philadelphia. Credit defensive coordinator Chris Partridge and his connections to the region, along with down years from Rutgers, Maryland, etc. (Hudl highlights)

Conner committed to Ole Miss with less fanfare than Brown and Avery, ranked by On3 as the No. 847 player in the country, and the 45th at the tight end position. Conner committed to Ole Miss over UCF, Duke, NC State, and South Carolina. The North Carolina prospect is listed at 6’4, 230lbs, and was recruited by Ole Miss TE coach John David Baker. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Kiffin’s staff has been very selective in taking commitments from high school prospects, so Conner’s relatively low rank shouldn’t be a big concern. His Hudl highlights look solid, showing good speed, some tough catches in traffic, decent ability to block in space, etc.

Miller’s recruitment seemed to come out of nowhere; Ole Miss was the JUCO’s first major offer, and the 6’6, 320lb tackle decided to shut it down without waiting for other suitors to come along. The recruitniks don’t seem to know much about Miller at this point, so I won’t speculate much about his potential or whatever. That said, reports from Ole Miss’ fall camp indicate the young offensive linemen are doing well, offensive line coach Jake Thornton generally continues to recruit like gangbusters, and the transfer portal is always there. So we don’t see much reason to take a random junior college offensive tackle unless the staff really, really likes him.