Ole Miss Football Recruiting: Analyzing New Rebel Football Signees

Oct 17, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze and Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) during the game against the Memphis Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 17, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze and Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) during the game against the Memphis Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Ole Miss Football Class have been signed. Now let’s analyze the signees.

The frenzy of National Signing Day is now in the rear view, and Ole Miss, despite a few unpleasant surprises, had a pretty successful day – all things considered.

With the possibility of NCAA sanctions looming overhead, and the uncertainty of when any punishments may be applied, head coach Hugh Freeze had to walk a delicate line when luring recruits to Oxford.

Sell the program. Sell the future. Sign the recruits.

Heading into National Signing Day most Ole Miss fans had an uneasy feeling as to what the day may bring. However, by the end of the day most were okay with the Rebel signees. Ole Miss football addressed some much needed issues.

Before we delve into analyzing the 2017 class, there were recruits that we missed out on. It was tough losing running back Cordarrian Richardson to Maryland or UCF or wherever.

In addition, it was a little surprising losing Eric Stokes Jr. to Georgia. However, we are happy with the signees that choose to make Ole Miss their home.

Oct 31, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Ole Miss Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (1) celebrates after the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Rebels beat the Tigers 27-19. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 31, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Ole Miss Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (1) celebrates after the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Rebels beat the Tigers 27-19. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Signees

Although the focus on this year’s recruiting was on the defensive side of the ball, the Rebels did find a few gems for the offense. Ole Miss is returning solid playmakers from last year’s team and some young talent on the offensive line. They added some help with the signees of this class.

Quarterbacks

The Rebels has Junior College transfer Jordan Ta’amu already on campus as an early enrollee.

This will give the Rebels another quarterback that will available in the Spring for Spring practice.

Ole Miss also inked another quarterback during signing day. Faithful commit Alex Faniel adds depth to a position that the Rebels need more players.

Offensive Line

Ole Miss legacy Ben Brown was able to live his dream when he signed on to become a Rebel. He never wavered in his commitment. He will add another body to a young offensive line.

However, one of the great recruitment stories of the season was the Rebels ability to close on Tony Gray.

The offensive lineman out of Georgia has the look of someone who could be a mainstay on the line.

Wide Receivers

Ole Miss has been nicknamed WRU by some of the fan base. It is the one area on the team that seems to be set. However, it does not hurt to keep adding talented receivers to the team. The Rebels appear to have gotten to good ones. JaVonta Payton and Braylon Sanders both fit the mold of an Ole Miss Rebel receiver. Coach Phil Longo will be able to plug them into his offense.

Nov 21, 2015; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels linebacker DeMarquis Gates (31) attempts to tackle LSU Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris (6) during the fourth quarter of the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 21, 2015; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels linebacker DeMarquis Gates (31) attempts to tackle LSU Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris (6) during the fourth quarter of the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Signees

The Ole Miss defense needed help. They did not resemble the type of defense the Rebels are used to having. Therefore, the coaching staff made it a priority in the off season. This year’s signees could immediately compete for playing time.

Linebackers

If there was one area of immediate need it was the linebacker position. The coaching staff brought in some players to solve that problem. Starting with early enrollees Breon Dixon and Brenden Williams.

Both have got a great opportunity to immediately impact the roster. However they are not the only players that can see massive playing time. Mohamed Sanogo, Zikerrion Baker, and Josh Clarke all will add much needed man power to that position group.

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Defensive Line

Two early enrollees will be able to go through the defensive line rotation during the Spring drills. Markel Winters and Ryder Anderson will look to push for playing time.

Another steal in the recruiting wars for the Rebels was getting Chester Graves. Graves is considered by many the best player from the State of Missouri. The staff also added Jacksonville, FL. DT/OG Sincere David. Where he will play is still up in the air.

Defensive Backs

Ole Miss rotated a lot of young players on the field in the defensive backfield last year. The coaching staff went out and found more players to add to the much needed depth. It began with early enrollee Javien Hamilton.

However, they signed a few more on National Signing Day. A big signee was D.D. Bowie. Although he was originally recruited as a receiver, it appears he will be on the defensive side of the ball. His length and ball skills will be a plus. The Rebels also signed C.J. Miller, A.J. Harris and one time Iowa State commit Kam White.

Oct 1, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels offensive lineman Jeremy Liggins (78) runs onto the field the game against the Memphis Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.Mississippi won 48-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 1, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels offensive lineman Jeremy Liggins (78) runs onto the field the game against the Memphis Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.Mississippi won 48-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Notes

There are a couple of names not mentioned. We did not forget but decided to cover them with a couple of quick notes.

JUCO Possibilities

A couple of signees may have to go the JUCO route first before becoming Rebels. Jamar Richardson from Aliceville, AL. could potentially be one of those players. The cornerback will get the opportunity to hone his skills and then join the Rebels after next season.

The other player who may go JUCO owns the most entertaining hat ceremony of the day. Taekion Reed flipped from Mississippi State to the Rebels. He threw the Bulldogs hat across the room before choosing the Rebels. He too may end up in JUCO first.

Best Story of the Day

The best story of the day came from the only running back the Rebels signed in the 2017 class.

Isaiah Woullard rushed for over 2700 yard as a senior in Hattiesburg. He was mostly overlooked because he came from a small school. However, he has quickly became one of the favorites of this signing class.

The Rebels fan base respect players who give their all. Given a chance he may just come in and find himself a spot on the field.

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