Freeze hopes to have 2014 signing class on campus soon

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze hopes to have most of his 2014 signing class on campus in June, but there are some key members who still have some work to do academically.

“I expect to have all of them by July,” Freeze said. “It’s hard to say where we are right now for June.”

Offensive lineman Fahn Cooper and cornerback Tee Shepard are finishing course work at their respective junior colleges. Freeze said he expects to have Cooper for June.

Jackson offensive lineman Rod Taylor has the necessary test score. “He’s got to continue to improve the GPA,” Freeze said.

The fourth is Tyrone, Ga., defensive tackle Chris Williams, rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.

The presence of both Cooper and Taylor becomes even more important with the news earlier this week that offensive lineman Austin Golson is considering a transfer.

Golson finished spring drills as the No. 1 right tackle where the Rebels are seeking a replacement for two-year starter Pierce Burton.

Cooper is expected to compete for the job in August, but it may be a competition without Golson, who is trying to get closer to his Prattville, Ala., home because of health concerns for two grandparents.

Auburn has been mentioned as a possible destination for Golson, and Freeze told the Daily Journal he would “probably” not try to block a transfer to the SEC West rival given the circumstances.

“Both granddads are sick, and we don’t want someone who doesn’t want to be here,” he said.

Taylor is expected to provide depth at the guard spots. Offensive line coach Matt Luke has seen Taylor in camps and raves about his foot work and athleticism.

If Golson does indeed transfer other options at right tackle include Robert Conyers, a third-year sophomore, redshirt freshman Davion Johnson and possibly UCLA transfer Christian Morris.

There are two hurdles for Morris. First, he must be granted a waiver by the NCAA to be able to compete this season. Second, he must make a strong recovery from an Achilles injury sustained in a winter weight workout. He’s not expected to be physically ready before late August.

Conyers appeared in four games last year and spent most of his Ole Miss career at right tackle before moving to center in the spring.

The Rebels will add junior Aaron Morris – a starter in 2011 and 2012 – add left guard. He missed last season after tearing his ACL in the season opener at Vanderbilt.

Christian Morris signed with UCLA but never enrolled there. He transferred and enrolled at Ole Miss in January. Rivals.com rated him the nation’s No. 10 offensive tackle and the No. 128 overall recruit in the Class of 2013.

Last season Freeze said he felt the best option for Christian Morris, even if healthy, would be a redshirt.

“My gut says a redshirt would be great for him,” Freeze said. “If we get Fahn in and Rod in and Aaron Morris is back healthy, I would tend to try to redshirt him. I would hope we could get through the year without him.”

parrish.alford@journalinc.com



About Parrish Alford

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.