RECRUITING NOTEBOOK: Recruiting efforts were lively before ‘dead period’ began

JOHN LUKE McCORD

JOHN LUKE McCORD

Today marks the first day of the December “dead period” in recruiting, and it will run through Jan. 15. This will limit contact and the usual visits the coaches make to national all-star games in early January.

Only junior college coaches were allowed to visit prospects in Montgomery this past week where practices lead up to the culminating Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.

Alabama extended its winning streak over Team Mississippi to six games.

Some of the prospects from Mississippi that stood out in Saturday’s game were TE Sammie Epps of Greenwood (Ole Miss), DE Breeland Speaks of Jackson Callaway (Ole Miss), WR Markell Pack from Purvis (Ole Miss) and RB Aeris Williams from West Point (MSU).

Mississippi State commit Jamoral Graham of Decatur (Newton County) did not play in the game. Ole Miss commit D.K. Buford from Lafayette was also held out. Epps was the Mississippi MVP.

The previously mentioned new dead period this year made this past week very important. Hugh Freeze and staff used the week to get into the game with a few new players and some guys that have been priorities for a while.

Ole Miss visited C.J. Hampton from Meridian this past week. He will be making a final decision in the coming days between Alabama and the Rebels. He is a longtime Ole Miss commit.

The Rebels visited Bo Scarborough of Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy) this week. He continues to show interest in the Rebels despite his Alabama commitment.

MVP Style

Ole Miss also lined up a January visit with linebacker Rashaan Evans of Auburn, Ala., this week. He was the MVP for team Alabama on Saturday.

The Rebels hosted two official visitors this past week, including Trevon Young, a defensive end from Arizona Western CC. Also, recent commit Christian Russell of East Mississippi CC visited Oxford.

Ole Miss received a commitment this past week from Eli Johnson, an OL prospect from Lafayette High School. He is one of Mississippi’s top 2016 prospects and makes the Rebels’ third commitment in that class.

The week was just as big for the Bulldogs and Dan Mullen.

With precious few spots left for the 2014 class, the picture for MSU is beginning to become more clear.

The Bulldogs parted ways with longtime DE commit Darrius Liggins of Oxford this week. MSU is still in the game for another DL prospect in Cory Thomas of McCalla, Ala., who is committed to Tennessee. Taylor Stallworth, a South Carolina commit from Mobile, is also still on MSU’s board.

Clarksdale defensive back J.T. Gray said this week that the Bulldogs lead for him.

Mullen and company offered a 2015 Jackson-area standout this week in Madison Central receiver Keenan Barnes.

John Luke McCord, who’s from Tupelo, is a freelance recruiting writer for the Daily Journal and Rebels247. His column appears on Mondays.