By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
A visit from Ole Miss football Hugh Freeze didn’t go unnoticed at Clay High School Wednesday.
The Green Cove Springs, Fla., community may be 45 minutes away from the University of Florida, but Freeze, and what the Rebels have accomplished in the SEC West, has definitely turned heads and made everything about the program more recognizable.
Freeze was at Clay to visit his latest commit, offensive tackle Michael Howard, a 6-foot-6 prospect who has an impressive offer sheet despite a player holding a three-star ranking. Ole Miss has only recently started to recruit Howard, according to his coach Josh Hoekstra.
“I remember him telling me about a month ago that he was starting to hear and get information from Ole Miss and Mississippi State,” Hoeskstra said. “We told him to keep up that was great, that it was great to be recruited by teams from the SEC West and to keep up with the coaches.”
While Mississippi State decided not to engage, the initial contact for Ole Miss grew with offensive line coach Matt Luke and cornerbacks coach Jason Jones coming by to visit. But when Freeze turned up Wednesday, Howard and his mother couldn’t say no.
Hoekstra said he and Howard had just set up all his official visits. He was scheduled to be at Penn State starting Friday. And then on to Wisconsin and South Carolina at the start of the new year. Back in May, Hoekstra had Howard pegged for Oregon, one of the first schools to offer.
“He wasn’t able to get out there for a visit in the summer to really check things and just like a lot of places their class has filled up,” Hoekstra said about Oregon.
Other schools that have been interested or offered include Tennessee, Georgia, California, Cincinnati and Colorado. Former Ole Miss safety Charles Clark led the recruiting efforts for the Buffaloes. Clark played for David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss. He is a graduate of Clay High as well.
Here are some video clips of Howard provided by Hudl.