Local Athletics

Published on January 26th, 2016 | by Shelby Rayburn


2016 Rebel Football Recruiting Class Poised to be Highest Ranking in Ole Miss History

Most Rebel fans will smile from ear to ear while remembering the morning of Wednesday, February 6, 2013.  History will likely look back on that day as being moment when the Ole Miss Rebel football team began its rise from perennial SEC West cellar-dweller to annual title contender, and, dare I say it… elite program. That morning in February of 2013 was, of course, National Signing Day. That’s the day when America’s blue-chip high school and junior college football players can officially sign (and fax, for some reason) a binding Letter of Intent to join the college team of their choice.

For Ole Miss, the group of players who would submit letters that day would be awarded a 247 Sports Composite ranking of 8th nationally, 4th in the SEC, and would become the highest ranking recruiting class in program history. Anchored by consensus #1 overall player DE Robert Nkemdiche, the 2013 Rebel recruiting class included additional 5-Star rated players like WR Laquon Treadwell, OT Laremy Tunsil, and S Tony Connor; plaus a slew of 4-Star prospects like RBs Jordan Wilkins and Kailo Moore, and QB Ryan Buchanan. It had “diamond-in-the-rough” 2 and 3 star prospects like TE Evan Engram, QB DeVante Kincade, WR Quincy Adeboyejo, and P Will Gleeson. It even included an un-ranked player with DE Fadol Brown.

Many of the so-called “experts” would comment that day that this class would be the peak of achievement for Ole Miss, and that if this group couldn’t get the Rebs to Atlanta for the program’s first SEC Championship Game, it would likely never happen, as there’s no way Ole Miss could consistently win recruiting battles against the SEC’s big boys like Alabama, Auburn, and LSU.  As you well know, the Rebels came up one 4th and 25 play short of reaching Atlanta last season.

Its funny how time can prove that the “experts” are everything but.

With National Signing Day only a few days away, the 2016 Ole Miss Football recruiting class currently holds the 247 Composite Ranking of 4th nationally and 2nd in the SEC with 8 players already enrolled, 14 committed, and the Rebels still in the hunt for several more. If Hugh Freeze and his assistants can close on most of their remaining targets, its possible that Ole Miss could have the nation’s #1 recruiting class for 2016.

National Signing Day is  Wednesday, February 3 and will be covered live on ESPNU starting at 8:00 AM EST/7:00 AM CST. You can view ESPN’s full coverage schedule HERE.

Until then, you can keep up with the Rebels on the recruiting trail at 247sports.com, The Ole Miss Spirit, or RebelGrove.com.

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About the Author

Shelby Rayburn is an Associate Editor and photographer at The Local Voice in Oxford, Mississippi, a 16 year veteran live sound engineer, and a Mississippi Master Gardener. He is a seventh generation Lafayette County native. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from The University of Mississippi and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Mississippi State.

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