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Whiskey Wednesday’s Thursday recruiting hangover: Who will be next to join the Landshark defense?

There’s a lot of defensive back talent departing in ‘23

Troy v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Recruiting in-state is almost always important, but in a smaller populated state like Mississippi, coaches have to look in other nearby states like Georgia where nearly 50 high school prospects are ranked in the top 500 players nationally.

On its opening weekend of football, Ole Miss gained a commitment from Peach County High School linebacker and tight end Skielar Mann.

Mann has not been rated by On3, but shows up as the 89th ranked linebacker for the 2023 class on 247’s database. The 6’2, 205lb athlete was also being recruited by Florida State and Georgia Tech. His Hudl highlights show that Mann can be patient, diagnose a play, work around or through blockers, and get to the ball carrier.

Lane Kiffin and staff have gotten increasingly selective with how they recruit high school students, as the transfer portal has shifted how teams can manage rosters year over year, and as Kiffin has grown the Ole Miss brand. Still, they tend to offer a few fliers in each class, and Mann may qualify as just such a player. It could be that his stock will rise throughout the year, and Ole Miss will have to fend off other big-time suitors. Or, Mann could fly under the radar and sign with little fanfare.

Mann was one of two official visitors last weekend, the other being 2023 defensive linemen Jamarrion Harkless, from Lexington, Kentucky. Harkless is listed at 6’4, 315lbs, and his other main suitors appear to be Illinois, Louisville, and Auburn.

This upcoming weekend, Ole Miss will host some 2024 prospects for the Central Arkansas game, notably including Little Rock Christian quarterback Walker White. White is an elite QB prospect, considered to be the top overall player in Arkansas for 2024, and appears to be a strong lean to Ole Miss, given his frequent visits to Oxford. White’s brother, John David, signed with the University of Arkansas as a wide receiver prospect, only to transfer to Central Arkansas. It isn’t clear if John David White’s departure from the Razorback program is related to Walker’s apparent interest in not attending Arkansas, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the Rebels’ chances.

Marcel Reed, the quarterback for Lane Kiffin’s 2023 class, recently released a Hudl highlight reel from the first three games of his senior season. I’m no QB evaluator, but… looks good to me! There are a lot of nice plays in this highlight for just three games of action, showing Reed tossing a couple of deep bombs, improvising and throwing off-schedule and under pressure, and tearing off some nice gains on designed runs.


I was all done writing this week’s edition, but then Coppell, Texas defensive back Braxton Myers decommitted from Southern Cal on Wednesday evening.

As detailed in last week’s recruiting update, Myers attended the big “Juice Fest” camp in Oxford, where rumors emerged that On3’s No. 199-ranked player might be on the verge of switching his commitment to the Rebs. That talk died down in the days following Myers’ return to Coppell, but now… here we are. We haven’t heard any reports of new schools making a surge for Myers, so my assumption is that Myers is on the verge of committing to Ole Miss.