Well, enough of all the talk about the Ole Miss Rebels historic class of 2013. It’s time to start looking at the 2014 recruiting class. That’s just how this business is- one of the reasons it’s so fascinating.
The Rebels certainly helped themselves this year, but next year’s class will also be program changing. It will be Hugh Freeze’s second full class (the first class in 2012 was assembled with only a few months to work), and the second one always needs to complement this first one. It’s never surprising for a new coach, working with a full year, to have a good class, especially considering all the positive energy surrounding the program. Granted, Freeze, in his first full class, blew everyone away with the greatest class in program history. But now the expectations will be raised for the second one. There will also be raised expectations on the field with all of this newly acquired talent.
So how’s the Rebels class of 2014 looking? Well the coaches are wasting no time getting started, having already offered more than 95 players. And you better believe, Freeze and co. are looking at the same level of talent that they set their eyes upon this year. All of the top players nationally from next years class have scholarship offers from the Rebels. And they have momentum with these guys, especially after seeing all the top dogs of this year’s class waving Ole Miss gear all over ESPN on National Signing Day. The Rebels got the kind of publicity you couldn’t even pay for.
Next years class has the Rebels placing a high emphasis on defensive backs. Nearly a third of the scholarships offered to players in the class of 2014 are either cornerbacks or safeties. The Rebels even have verbal commitments from two defensive backs of next years class, safeties C.J. Hampton and Ronald Walker.
Hampton, from Meridian Mississippi, is the bigger name of the two, and is already considered one of the top 250 players in the country by rivals.com. Shockingly, Hampton committed to the Rebels before they built all of this recruiting momentum, in June of 2012.
Walker, from Jackson, Mississippi, offers tremendous size for the position at 6’2” 200lbs. He’s also been getting a lot of looks from the Alabama Crimson Tide (oh how Nick Saban loves big safeties).
No doubt the Rebels coaching staff will be using the momentum built from the 2013 class to continue with the class of ’14. As long as the Rebels continue making progress on the field, and win some of the games they’re leading going into the 4th quarter (cough, cough, Texas A&M and LSU), I see no reason the Rebs can’t continue their recruiting hot streak.
Rick Stavig is a National Recruiting Columnist for RantSports.com. In addition to covering College Football, he also covers the NFL and NFL Draft. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.