Ok, here we go: the recruiting home stretch. As we’ve documented in past weeks, the 2024 Ole Miss class is filling up, and while it seemed like the Rebs were slated for a smooth, uneventful finish to this recruiting cycle (until the portal opens, anyways), that no longer seems to be the case. And that’s probably going to be a good thing.
My apologies for not having an update in a while, but this will be a good refresher of the top hits for those of us who don’t want to scour On3 and 247 for “Crystal Balls,” decipher Gen-Z social media posts, etc.
- Ole Miss and Winter Garden, Florida QB prospect Trever Jackson have parted ways, leaving the Rebs without a high school quarterback in the class. The decommitment was characterized as “mutual;” you can draw your own conclusions on what that means. I liked Jackson’s highlights, and he’s rated relatively high by On3’s composite… but here’s the thing: Jackson has been splitting snaps with an underclassman for his high school team. Additionally, Ole Miss signed Walker Howard from the portal last season, and added perhaps the youngest 2023 D1 prospect in the country in Austin Simmons. So there are already two strong candidates to be the Rebs’ “QB of the future.” Further, it seems less and less likely that Jaxson Dart will leave early for the NFL. He’s played great, but in a stacked QB class, isn’t putting the team on his back week after week the way you’d like to see.
- Last year, the coaching carousel almost certainly hurt Ole Miss in recruiting. With the Kiffin-to-Auburn fiasco, a late move to fire defensive coordinator and recruiting ace Chris Partridge and replace him with Pete Golding (a much better recruiting ace, fortunately), the Rebs were caught sitting on their hands during some key stretches last Fall. That (oh my God, hopefully) won’t be the case this year. In fact, with the recent firing of Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and Mississippi State’s Zach Arnett, Ole Miss could stand to actually benefit from some coaching vacancies:
- Starkville wide receiver Braylon Burnside decommitted from MSU a couple of weeks prior to Arnett’s firing, but his decision was likely related to watching the Bulldogs’ ship slowly go down in his backyard. He was favored to commit to Ole Miss when he originally made his pledge a few months ago, and the Rebs are once again the favorite to land the #6 player in MS.
- Tupelo linebacker Tristan Jernigan is committed to Texas A&M, but Ole Miss has stayed on him, and that move might end up paying dividends soon. Now, A&M’s class might well not fall apart, because let’s face it, those dudes aren’t going to College Station to play for Jimbo Fisher. But Ole Miss could potentially take advantage of the uncertainty and swoop in on a player like Jernigan at a position of need.
- Oak Grove (Hattiesburg) QB Anthony Maddox is also an Aggie pledge who could certainly go looking around in the wake of Fisher’s dismissal. As previously mentioned, the Rebs lack a 2024 QB; also, it’s worth noting that Ole Miss is heavily… heavily recruiting Maddox’s little brother, 2025 defensive lineman Andrew Maddox.
- While Sam Pittman is still technically the head coach at Arkansas, you could be forgiven for thinking he’d been fired already. With the Razorbacks floundering this season, their top commit, and the top player in the state of Arkansas, may be giving Ole Miss another look. Charleston Collins, a defensive end from Pine Bluff and the #84 player overall in the country, was heavily considering Ole Miss before committing to his home state school, and now may be leaning the Rebs’ way again. On3 analyst Sam Spiegelman recently predicted Collins would flip to Ole Miss. When On3 guys with no relation to Ole Miss start making predictions in the Rebs’ favor, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on. Adding Collins would give Ole Miss a strong case for the best DL class in the country, already with commitments from four in-state superstars including near-5-star Kam Franklin.
Just adding Burnside and Collins, the most likely of the four guys I’ve mentioned to join the Ole Miss class (imo), would be a great close for Kiffin and co. But it looks like Ole Miss will add more than just those two…
We’ll be back soon with another round of updates.