The Class of 2014

With Signing Day just hours away it’s a different feel at Ole Miss this year.

Last year Hugh Freeze’s class was generated national attention with five star guys like Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil.

This year the highest-rated commit is Rod Taylor who goes No. 47 with 247Sports, No. 56 with ESPN, No. 58 with Scout and No. 106 with Rivals.

Multiple reports have Ole Miss in good standing with uncommitted wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie though it appears Georgia is making a late push.

It’s interesting that Georgia could jump in get a kid that Ole Miss would otherwise have a good shot at getting. I don’t know how the McKenzie thing will end, but I remember Georgia fans upset when Ole Miss signed Tunsil.

If a year later it ends up being a McKenzie-Tunsil trade I think you take the five star OL.

Freeze said last year he didn’t feel like he had to sign a top 10 class every year to build the program he wants to build at Ole Miss. He believes he can win with four stars and high threes as he put it.

Here’s Freeze from last year’s Signing Day presser: “I think one of the strengths of our class are the four-star and high-three stars we got. Those guys are not getting talked about a lot, and we think they’re superstars.”

Last year’s class generated national news for Ole Miss, but just as important as signing that class was the manner in which Freeze and his staff plugged new players into key roles to help in 2013.

There wasn’t a lot of Signing Day buzz about Evan Engram, but he turned out to be an important player as a freshman. Freeze called Derrick Jones the sleeper of last year’s class. He bounced around to a couple of positions and finally settled in as a big cornerback who could give the Rebels a matchup advantage and got on the field in some big games.

This class seems to have a lot of those types of players with guys like C.J. Hampton, Markell Pack, Breeland Speaks and others.

It looks like the Class of 2014 will be ranked around No. 15. Scout, Rivals and ESPN have the class No. 15 right now.

Having the No. 15 class makes you No. 9 in the SEC. There’s always that to contend with.

Obviously recruiting is an inexact science. If people are going to the trouble of evaluating high school players and assigning rankings — and it’s big business these days — you’d rather have more highly ranked players than not.

But the important thing is to identify your needs and properly evaluate recruits for your situation.



Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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