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Whiskey Wednesday’s Thursday recruiting hangover: who is the next domino to fall for Lane Kiffin?

Ole Miss scored a huge commitment in Ayden Williams, what now?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 29 Kansas State at Ole Miss Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A quick rundown of current Ole Miss commits for the 2024 class shows a lot of balance, despite there being just ten recruits in the boat so far.

So far, there’s the following verbal commits:

  • 1 QB (Marcel Reed, 4 star)
  • 1 WR (Ayden Williams, 4 star)
  • 1 TE (Jayvontay Conner, 3 star)
  • 2 OL (Brycen Sanders, 4 star, Izavion Miller, JUCO n/r)
  • 2 DL (Neeo Avery, 4 star, Jamarious Brown, 4 star)
  • 1 LB (Suntarine Perkins, 4 star)
  • 2 DB (Ahmad Brown, 4 star, Daniel Demery, 3 star)

So, who’s next, and what are the biggest needs remaining?

A running back commit certainly wouldn’t hurt; Zach Evans is a potential one-and-done candidate, and Isaiah Woullard will graduate, leaving three scholarship backs on roster, two of whom would be seniors in 2023 (Ulysses Bentley IV and Kentrel Bullock).

Ole Miss is still recruiting Picayune, MS rusher Dante Dowdell, who surprised many experts by committing to Oregon in May. On3 has Dowdell rated the No. 178 player in the country, the No. 8 running back, and No. 3 player in Mississippi.

Another wide receiver or two also wouldn’t hurt; in fact, it would help a lot! Ole Miss has SIX scholarship receivers who are seniors this year (Jon Mingo, Dannis Jackson, Malik Heath*, Jaylon Robinson, Jalen Knox, Qua Davis). All but one of those guys (Heath) is listed as having an extra year of eligibility due to COVID, but how many are going to take it?

Cayden Lee of Kennesaw, Ga. has been rumored as perhaps the most likely to commit to Kiffin and co. next. Lee is a three star prospect whose offer list is extensive. The portal has been very kind to Ole Miss in restocking its receiver corps, and we see no reason that won’t continue.

Same deal with offensive linemen. Mason Brooks is deffo gone, Nick Broeker will almost certainly skip his COVID victory lap to go to the NFL, Jeremy James could very well declare as a junior, and Jalen Cunningham and Hamilton Hall are also seniors with the COVID asterisk; that’s five potential scholarship departures.

Brycen Sanders is a great commit to kick off the offensive line class, but Izavion Miller is something of a question mark. He was offered by OL coach Jake Thornton, and quickly shut down his recruitment. Miller is quite tall at 6’6”, and in photos appears to have massively long arms, so Thornton must see some major upside there. Still, JUCO recruiting in general will be much less of a necessity in the Portal Era (we’re capitalizing it now, ok?), so it’s somewhat surprising to see Ole Miss reaching into the JUCO ranks somewhat early in the recruiting cycle. As for other offensive line prospects… we don’t really know! There are four offensive linemen among the top 20 players in Mississippi according to On3; all four are already committed (two to MS State, one each to USM and Memphis), and none have Ole Miss offers. The Rebs had a near-miss in the recruitment of all-name team candidate Wilkin Formby, but the Tuscaloosa native shocked the world by committing to… Alabama, so we figure that one will stick.

There are a lot of young, promising players in the offensive line room (see: Jayden Williams forcing himself into the picture as the starter at left tackle as a redshirt freshman). So while there isn’t a ton of urgency to sign bodies on the offensive line, you generally want to sign more than two each cycle.

My brain hurts from shuffling browser tabs, so we’ll resume our recruiting-focused roster rundown next week with the defense!