Hugh Freeze Continues to Build Elite Recruiting Class at Ole Miss

By Patrick Schmidt
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss continued its climb up the recruiting rankings by getting a commitment from four-star defensive end Elijah Daniel (Avon, In, Avon) on Sunday.

Three days after getting a commitment from Laquon Treadwell, the nation’s top receiver, head coach Hugh Freeze gets his second elite recruit and more could be on their way to Oxford, Ms.

Freeze has hit the recruiting trail hard after a 7-6 season that included a win in the Egg Bowl over Mississippi State and a win in the BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pittsburgh and clearly has the program moving in the right direction.

The 6-2 249-pound Daniel is the No. 8 defensive end recruit according to ESPN and No. 34 overall. The Rebels beat out in-state rival Mississippi State, Arizona State and Florida for his services. Daniel has experience lining up as a defensive tackle and could play all across the defensive line in college because of his athleticism, strength and work ethic.

Fans of Ole Miss are the most excited they have been in the past few years and rightfully so as Freeze has already changed the culture that lingered in the aftermath of the Houston Nutt era. Daniel is the latest to buy what Freeze is selling, but he won’t be the last.

Ole Miss was ranked No. 19 according to ESPN before the commitment of Daniel and could move into the top 10 with the latest coup in Freeze’s recruiting class that could end up being one of best come signing day in February.

The biggest domino yet to fall would be the top-ranked player in the nation, Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga, Grayson), and Ole Miss has been considered the front-runner in large part because his older brother Denzel is a linebacker on the team and his mother’s affinity for the school.

However, Nkemdiche visited Florida this weekend and Ole Miss may now find themselves in a three-way tie with the Gators and LSU after Nkemdiche was said to have bonded well with some of the incoming recruits and came away impressed with the coaching staff.

The Rebels will get to make their sales pitch this weekend when he makes an official visit to the gorgeous Oxford campus. Nkemdiche may be the latest elite recruit to become a part of the Rebel program if Freeze continues to work his magic with recruits and his brother could be the x-factor that other schools can’t contend with.

Freeze and the university will be pulling out all the stops for Nkemdiche this weekend and if he does commit to the Rebels, then the Grove and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is going to be quite the scene in 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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