Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss are Making a Killing in the International Market
Lane Kiffin laid claim that he wanted to not just recruit Mississippi, but to recruit on a national level. What he didn't exactly make known how hard he'd be tackling the international market.
Ole Miss football's new coaching staff are handling the international market better than anyone in college football this offseason. Their latest acquisition does nothing except bolster that observation.
Canadian defensive back Deane Leonard committed to Ole Miss on Wednesday, becoming the second Canadian to join the team this offseason as an immediately eligible player. Leonard, coming to Ole Miss from the University of Calgary, joins fellow Canadian transfer Tavius Robinson, as the newest Rebels.
Both of these Canadian footballers were able to join Ole Miss immediately due to the cancellation fo the U Sports league in Canada this upcoming fall amidst COVID-19 concerns. Leonard, like Robinson, chose Ole Miss over an offer from LSU.
Playing a critical role in the Calgary Dinos 2019 Vanier Cup Championship, Leonard has been named to back-to-back All-Canadian teams. This past year, he made 22 tackles and defended eight passes, all while leading the Western Conference with four interceptions.
But it's not just the Canadian, immediate-impact duo that Lane Kiffin and Co. have targeted internationally.
Three-star offensive tackle Tobias Braun, part of the 2020 recruiting class, is another international player. Braun, listed at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, went to high school in both Texas and Connecticut. However, Braun is originally from Germany and didn't move to the United States until his junior year of high school.
It's an interesting strategy for Ole Miss, particularly grabbing the two Canadians who can play right away. There's no doubt the Rebel defense could use some help. Last year's unit finished No. 120 nationally in passing yards allowed and No. 85 in total defense.
There's both some experienced seniors (Myles Hartsfield and Jalen Julius) and some sophomores that have played quite a bit (Jay Stanley). But every bit helps in a struggling unit and both Leonard and Robinson should be good for minutes from the start.