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Mississippi’s Star-studded 2024 Class: Defense.

Spoiler alert: if you need pass rushers for your defense, Mississippi’s 2024 class is a good place to start

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, we talked about the super-deep 2024 football recruiting class in Mississippi, and took a look at the top offensive players. I counted eight players on offense that have received offers from Ole Miss or are being actively scouted/recruited. Ole Miss often doesn’t extend more than eight TOTAL offers in-state in a given recruiting class. Well, as is often the case for the Mississippi high school ranks, the defensive talent is even more impressive. There appear to be about thirteen class of 2024 defenders that have received offers from Ole Miss or other big-time programs. Some of these guys, we don’t even have much information on yet, as coaching staffs are outpacing the recruiting services in scouting them. Of the 13 players listed below, eight have not been rated/evaluated by On3, many of whom have multiple SEC offers. Let’s have a look:

Kamarion Franklin: Lake Cormorant defensive lineman Kam Franklin was the first player in the 2024 class to really blow up, and his momentum has not slowed a bit. The 6’5, 260-lb athlete is by far the highest-rated player in the state, coming in as the #4 defensive lineman and the #21 player overall; he’s a four-star now, but has a great chance to earn a fifth star. Watching his HUDL tape, it’s clear Franklin is the kind of defensive lineman that just makes offensive tackles and quarterbacks shit their pants. The battle to keep him home will be long and nerve-wracking. Thank goodness for Pete Golding and Randall Joyner.

Jeffery Rush: Pascagoula’s Jeffery Rush is another big-bodied defensive end, listed at 6’3, 255 lbs. His HUDL highlights look similar to Kam Franklin’s; he just effortlessly beats defensive ends and takes down quarterbacks. Rush’s On3 profile does not show an Ole Miss offer, but his 247 Sports profile does; not sure what the situation might be there. But, both sites show offers from Mississippi State, Auburn, Florida State, Arkansas, and Colorado, with On3 also showing Miami and Texas. Dude has offers. I haven’t seen much about his interest level in Ole Miss or vice versa, but it seems like he ought to be a priority.

Caleb Moore: Oak Grove defensive end Caleb Moore is listed at 6’3, 250 lbs, and while he is unranked on both On3 and 247, he lists offers from Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. His HUDL tape maybe doesn’t pop as much as Franklin’s or Rush’s, but that may be partly due to the camera work. Moore’s offers speak for themselves, and it’ll be interesting to see how his recruitment develops as he receives a ranking, attends some offseason camps, etc.

Aaron Travis: Listed at 6’5, 240 or 6’6 250, depending on where you look, Grenada defensive end Aaron Travis is unranked on On3 and 247, but holds offers from both in-state SEC schools, as well as Indiana, Southern Miss, and UNLV. His On3 profile shows Ole Miss with a heavy lead according to their recruiting prediction algorithm thing, but 247 Mississippi State beat writer Paul Jones cast his prediction for Travis to end up at State.

Kamron Beavers: while the first four guys on this list have been prototypical defensive ends, Bay Springs’ Kamron Beavers brings the real beef, standing 6’4 and 330 lbs. He lists offers from Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Texas, South Carolina, and others. His HUDL tape is brief, but if his height and weight are correct, good lord this kid is quick for his size. Ole Miss may be well-positioned with Beavers, as 247 Ole Miss writer David Johnson picked the Rebels to land the coveted lineman, and On3’s prediction machine also lists Ole Miss as the favorite to land him.

Terrance Hibbler: Holmes County Central’s Terrance Hibbler is another solid DT prospect with big offers. The 6’3 tackle is listed at 285 lbs by On3 and 305 lbs by 247, so it’s not clear how big he is. He is unranked on On3, but listed as the #8 player in the state and the #294 player in the country according to the 247 composite ranking. He lists offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M, Auburn, Arkansas… everybody. Mississippi State currently leads his On3 “RPM” metric, with Ole Miss and Bama close behind.

Jamonta Waller: Picayune Memorial’s Jamonta Waller is a smaller EDGE player who may project as a linebacker in college. Either way, the talented defender has an impressive of an offer sheet as Kam Franklin or any of the other Mississippi defenders; Bama, UGA, Tennessee, A&M, Oregon, Penn State, Auburn, and on and on and on… His HUDL tape shows an explosive pass rusher with nifty moves to defeat blocks, and the ability to chase down quarterbacks while not overpursuing the play. While On3 hasn’t yet rated Waller, he’s listed as the #6 player in Mississippi, the #15 EDGE, and #205 player overall by 247’s composite.

Daniel Hill: Meridian’s Daniel Hill is listed as a 6’2, 220 lb athlete, projecting as either a running back or a linebacker. The On3 consensus lists Hill as the #2 player in the state, the #12 athlete, and the #159 player overall. Strangely, his HUDL tape shows him playing mostly slot receiver; no defense at all. And it looks like Alabama, Tennessee, and several of the other top programs who have offered Hill have him projected as a running back. So it looks like I should have included Hill in the group of offensive players I already covered this week. Still, he’s listed as a linebacker in 247’s database, and at least some schools are recruiting him to play defense. Kinda seems like Hill favors Alabama at this point, but we’ll see what develops over the next few months.

Tristan Jernigan: Tupelo linebacker Tristan Jernigan is not yet ranked by On3 or 247, but has a pretty strong list of early offers and looks solid in his highlight tape. The 6’2, 210 linebacker shows really nice athleticism on film, and looks natural both pursuing ball carriers in space and scrapping it up in the box. He claims offers from both in-state SEC schools, as well as Texas A&M, Florida State, Oregon, and some mid-majors.

Fred Clark: Winona linebacker Fred Clark is listed as the #12 player in the state, the #56 linebacker, and the #552 player overall by On3. He looks like a prototypical middle linebacker, listed at 6’2, 230 lbs. Clark’s HUDL tape shows just that: an old-school linebacker who fights through blocks and takes down ball carriers with ease. It’s hard to tell what his speed is like from the tape, so it’ll be worth watching to see how his recruitment picks up. Currently, Clark has offers from both in-state SEC schools, and some mid-majors including Southern Miss, Memphis, and Tulane.

Patrick Broomfield: Another Mississippi prospect waiting to be ranked, Clarksdale’s Patrick Broomfield is a 6’2, 160 lb cornerback whose first big offer was from the Rebels at the end of January. Oregon followed with an offer a couple of weeks later, but so far, no other P5 programs have offered. Still, Broomfield definitely has the look of a P5 cornerback, with his HUDL highlights showing a speedy athlete who definitely likes to tackle and lay the big hit. Playing in a relatively low division in the MS high school ranks, Broomfield likely doesn’t go up against many elite quarterbacks, and that makes it hard to judge his coverage skills; his highlights mostly show him defending some very unimpressive passes.

PJ Woodland: Listen, On3, 247 Sports, Rivals, etc.: I’m really trying to just use one database here, but you’re making it difficult. Look at PJ Woodland, Oak Grove cornerback. On3 and 247 list him at 6’0, 155 lbs, unranked. Hop on over to Rivals dot com, and Mr. Woodland is 6’2, 175 lbs, and ranked the #186 player in the country, a four-star. What gives? Anyways, it seems like Rivals may be onto something, as Woodland currently owns offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Louisville, and others.

Jathan Hatch: The final player on today’s list is Biggersville’s Jathan Hatch. Is Jathan a portmanteau of “Jason” and “Nathan?” Or did someone just like the name “Jonathan,” except for that unsightly “on” in the middle? Regardless, Hatch is a 6’2, 190 lb defensive back who owns offers from Ole Miss, Tulane, and Southern Miss. I can’t find any highlights for Mr. Hatch, so we’ll just trust the fine folks at those three schools who think he’s good enough to play for them.