By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss will have to wait until signing day to learn if it will officially land two of its most high-profile recruits.
Loganville, Ga., prospect Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top-rated overall recruit, will announce his choice at a time when many in the central time zone are just waking up.
Local news tends to travel quickly, and Chris Jones, Houston’s rising recruiting star, has said he will also announce his choice on signing day.
Jones has narrowed his schools to Ole Miss and Mississippi State, to whom he gave a verbal commitment last summer.
Nkemdiche will be joined by his Grayson High School coaches and teammates in the school auditorium.
He is scheduled to make his announcement at 6:30 a.m. central time.
The agenda says Nkemdiche will then “mingle with teammates” and will take questions from the media after the mingling.
If the Rebels land both five-star recruits it would give them the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 rated defensive ends.
“We’re certainly in on the right guys. We have to find a way to close on a good number of them,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.
One of those is South Panola defensive back Tony Conner, who Ole Miss coaches visited earlier this week.
Rivals rates Conner as the No. 1 player in the state, the No. 11 safety in the country.
The Ole Miss class of verbal commitments is currently ranked No. 11 by Rivals and includes Laquon Treadwell, the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver and No. 5 overall player. Landing any combination of Nkemdiche, Jones and Conner would place the class inside the top 10.
The Rebels’ fast finish on the field has fueled recruiting momentum, Freeze said. Having his staff in place for more than a year and the enthusiasm of earlier commitments talking to one another have also been factors.
Player Pos. Hometown/School
Peyton Barber RB Alpharetta, Ga.
Trey Bledsoe Ath Grenada
Daronte Bouldin OL Canton
Eugene Brazley RB New Orleans
Ryan Buchanan QB Jackson
Elijah Daniel DE Avon, Ind.
Evan Engram TE Powder Springs, Ga.
Bobby Hill DB Moultrie, Ga.
Davion Johnson OL Byhalia
Derrick Jones WR Eupora
Devante Kincade QB Dallas
Herbert Moore DT Memphis
Kailo Moore RB Rosedale
Jarran Reed DT East Mississippi CC
Marcus Robinson LB Memphis
Rashawn Smith LB Florence, Ala.
Laquon Treadwell WR Crete, Ill.
Quincy Adeboyejo WR Cedar Hill, Texas
Nick Brassell* DB East Miss. CC
Mark Dodson* RB Memphis
Lavon Hooks* DT Northeast Miss. CC
Quadarias Mireles* WR Hinds CC
Christian Morgan* TE Plano, Texas
* – January enrollee