By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – An Ole Miss recruiting class with solid pick-ups in key areas will get stronger in the trenches and at wide receiver if Rebels coach Houston Nutt gets some good news today.
Neither Olive Branch offensive lineman Shon Coleman nor Noxubee County wide receiver Vincent Sanders have given public verbal commitments.
Ole Miss was docked three scholarships this year as a result of a low APR score, the result of problems mostly from the previous administration. The class of 18 non-binding verbal commitments is currently ranked No. 25 by Rivals.
Ole Miss coaches believe they have a shot at both of the unpledged talents, probably more with Sanders than with Coleman.
Rebelsports.net, the Rivals site that covers Ole Miss, speculated Tuesday that the Rebels had held off a strong push for Sanders from Florida State.
Sanders could provide immediate help at a position with question marks after the departure of Shay Hodge, the SEC’s leading receiver in 2009.
While Hodge was targeted often, catches for other wide receivers were scarce. A talented newcomer could have a chance to get into the rotation and make an impact. Rivals rates Sanders (6-3, 182) as a four-star prospect and the No. 2 prospect in Mississippi.
Sanders is expected to announce his decision this morning on WCBI.
Early impact is more difficult for offensive linemen, but Colemen, a five-star prospect, could provide it if he picks the Rebels over Auburn or Alabama, who seem to have an edge in this race.
The goal for this recruiting class has been to keep alive the momentum of strong line play that has defined the Ole Miss defense for the last two years.
The Rebels return only one defensive end – Kentrell Lockett – with meaningful experience.
Junior college transfer Wayne Dorsey (6-8, 255), of Gulf Coast Community College, could help fill that void.
Dorsey is signed, enrolled and will go through spring drills, along with safety Damien Jackson, his Gulf Coast teammates. Both are rated four-star prospects.
Dorsey is one of five defensive linemen in the class, and South Panola standout Devin Clark could join the mix today.
Hollandale-Simmons end Carlos Thompson (6-5, 220) was a key pick-up in this group.
The Rebels went into Dexter McCluster’s home state in hopes of finding a similar player, and wide receiver Quadarias Mireles (5-11, 175) could be that player.