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10 Takeaways on the 2022 Ole Miss Football Commitment List

Setting the table with Ole Miss football's 2022 recruiting class as the college football season begins

Ole Miss has long been expected to recruit well, and has, relative to on-field expectations despite residing in the toughest division in college football.

Expectations on the trail were lifted even higher in December of 2019 when the program announced Lane Kiffin as its next head coach. Following the transition class of 2020, the program looked the part on the recruiting trail to close the 2021 cycle in February, finishing No. 13 in the SI All-American Top 25. It reached the high point thanks to a torrid finish by Kiffin and company, including one of the program's biggest wins in the last decade in landing SI99 defensive lineman Tywone Malone. Tight end Hudson Wolfe was another SI99 signing in the class of 25 prospects, loaded with bulk (10 offensive/defensive linemen) and a marquee quarterback in Florida State flip Luke Altmyer. 

In the current 2022 cycle, the build has once again been a methodical one, to the point that the 12 verbal commitments to date haven't been enough to see Ole Miss land in SIAA's current Top 25 rankings

But talent pledged to Kiffin and his staff remains, with more likely on the way. 

10 Class of 2022 Takeaways

10. A focus on Mississippi has been apparent thus far in the 2022 cycle, as the seven in-state commitments already eclipse the final number (six) from the last cycle. Conversely, the top 15 class was able to stretch nationally into 10 different states, something probably easy to bet against the rest of the way this cycle. 

9. Hulking Harris is hard to miss. Zxavian Harris may be the class headliner from a talent perspective and he absolutely holds that spot from a notoriety angle. The Madison (Miss.) Germantown star stands a whopping 6'8", 330-plus pounds, and somehow carries it relatively well. Harris is one of the nation's most imposing trench forces. Try not to laugh at this picture...

8. Offensive line solidified. The program has four verbal commitments from projected offensive linemen, including Bryson Hurst, Jacarius Clayton, Timi Gagophien and Preston Cushman, each listed at 6'5" or taller. Most play tackle in high school, so there is athleticism to pair with the bigger frames, signs of Ole Miss staying on the trend of bringing in more athletic linemen and developing some to positions on the interior.

7. Jumbo pass-catchers coming to Oxford. The trio of position-catcher recruits committed to date aren't on the small side. It's expected at tight end and holds true with Texan Kyirin Heath, but the Rebels have bigger wide receivers on board at this time. Both in-state stars Larry Simmons and Jeremiah Dillon are listed at 6'2" or better with plenty of room to fill out. Simmons had 10 touchdowns for Moss Point last year and Dillon caught Tylerstown's game-winner last weekend.

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6. Dortch destined for O or D? Lucedale (Miss.) George County standout Marques Dortch makes plays on offense, defense, and special teams at 6', 175 pounds or so. He flashes great instincts with and without the ball in his hands, can get to top gear in a hurry, and holds strong ball skills. Where he may project in the SEC could vary as his frame fills out, but cornerback or slot receiver make the most sense today. This is a good problem for Kiffin, Terrell Buckley, and company to have with arguably the class-headlining prospect. 

5. Will a QB recruit emerge? The program doesn't have many verbal scholarship offers out at the position (perhaps indicating the chances it passes on one this year) outside of California's Dylan Gebbia, who is close to Matt Corral and was tendered back in January. Closer to home, one of the state's most productive arms is Deandre Smith of Greenville Christian, who visited as a two-sport prospect (baseball) in June and has a huge arm. 

4. Hughes has a high ceiling. Junior college commitment Reginald Hughes, a Mississippi native who flashed as a freshman at Northeast Mississippi CC, could be a sleeper prospect to watch relative to the rest of the class. As a freshman at NECC, he worked as an edge rusher with a good combination of explosiveness and bend to his name. Hughes had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble in just a handful of games and appears bigger in 2021

3. Groves has the goods. Another two-way talented headed to Oxford, Taylor Groves has a chance to be the future leader of the Rebel secondary. A part-time quarterback with experience at wide receiver as well as on defense, it's not just the versatility that should have Ole Miss fans juiced about him picking the program. Groves is a physical specimen at nearly 6'3" with great length and plenty of power in his game no matter where he lines up, part of the reason he is arguably the most important out-of-state pledge for Ole Miss to date.  

2. Running back vacant, but varying talent available. There may not be a Rebel RB recruit on board just yet, but there are intriguing options still on the board nationally, something that could play well into the season given high expectations for the rushing unit and Jerrion Early in 2021. Ole Miss is in on prospects like former Alabama commitment Le'Veon Moss, speedy Nevada native Jovantae Barnes, balanced Alabamian Quinshon Judkins, and others. Each of the bigger names are expected to take time with the process to date. 

1. No defections to date is an underrated positivity. Recruiting is as fluid as it's ever been from the prospect perspective, so zeroing in on the Early Signing Period (three-plus months away) without a public decommitment should be considered a victory for the staff. On the flip side, current commitments in defensive back Taylor Groves (one-time Michigan commitment) and defensive lineman Jacarius Clayton (Mississippi State) are on the list having committed elsewhere at some point. This staff remains aggressive.


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