With college football's 2021 season officially underway, rumors are beginning to fly regarding visits and commitments for the 2022 class and beyond.
Under second-year head coach Lane Kiffin, the Rebels recruiting momentum is hitting full force, and as a result, recruits who were once thought to be unattainable, are now beginning to take a hard look at the makings of what Kiffin is building in Oxford.
Stick with The Grove Report for all of the latest updates in recruiting below:
DECEMBER 28, 3:30 PM UPDATE
Wide receiver (2023) Johntay Cook out of DeSoto High School (Texas) announced his top seven schools on Tuesday.
Cook's top seven are Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson, Ohio State and LSU. Cook has put up 1,496 receiving yards in two varsity seasons with DeSoto along with 28 touchdowns.
DECEMBER 20, 11:00 AM UPDATE
Lost in the shuffle of the Early Signing Period was the latest on one of Ole Miss' top remaining targets in the class of 2022.
Davison Igbinosun, a one-time Rutgers commitment and top available prospect from New Jersey, is set to make a January 8 verbal commitment between four programs. The senior announced his intentions late last week, along with the contenders.
Ole Miss is battling SEC foes Kentucky, Tennessee and the program he was once on board with, RU.
The Rebels got the most recent official visit out of the versatile defensive back, who could project at cornerback or safety at the next level. He was on campus earlier this month when Lane Kiffin brought out a Porsche with the top talent in Oxford.
Igbinosun, who made all-state and was named the state defensive player of the year, is expected to reveal his choice at the All-American Bowl the afternoon of January 8. The game will be televised by NBC.
DECEMBER 14, 2:30 PM UPDATE
Rodney Johnson III announced his commitment to Ole Miss on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
Johnson is a three-star defensive back out of Gadsden City H.S. (Ala.). He commits to the Rebels as a preferred walk-on.
DECEMBER 14, 7:00 AM UPDATE
There was some potential drama building with longtime Ole Miss offensive line commitment Bryson Hurst, who decommitted from the program and then re-committed in November, but all appears clear for the Rebels.
Hurst flirted with potentially pushing off his signing plans until February with a social media post on Sunday night suggesting a mid-February end to his recruitment as other programs pushed to change his mind.
On Monday night, he announced other plans, cracking a joke about the timeline and confirming plans to in-fact lock in his National Letter of Intent this week as the Early Signing Period opens.
Hurst, who impressed during Mississippi-Alabama All-Star week, is one of four offensive line pledges currently on board for Lane Kiffin and company in the 2022 recruiting class.
DECEMBER 13, 3:00 PM UPDATE
Wide receiver recruit C.J. Smith announced on Twitter that he will be committing on Tuesday at noon/11 a.m. CT. Smith's primary choices are Georgia, Florida and Ole Miss.
Smith is a highly-sought recruit with blazing speed out of Mt. Dora (Orlando, Fla.).
DECEMBER 13, 9:10 AM UPDATE
The Egg Bowl resonates on the recruiting trail and there are probably fireworks to be had leading into Wednesday's National Signing Day to open the Early Signing Period.
One of the recruits to already have made a flip from one to the other, Jacarius Clayton, took a visit to Mississippi State over the weekend. The towering Tupelo (Miss.) High School standout, who played defensive line in Saturday's Mississippi-Texas All-Star Game, was once a State commit before flipping to Ole Miss in July.
Regardless of his final plans, the final result will be made official on Wednesday afternoon, Clayton announced via social media.
There has been discussion surrounding the 6'6", 270-pound prospect relative to his position. Some view Clayton, who took his Ole Miss official visit the weekend prior, on offense while he prefers defense at this time. Could that influence the final pick Wednesday?
The Grove Report evaluated every Rebel pledge in person just last week.
DECEMBER 12, 9:30 PM UPDATE
More news in the transfer portal came on Sunday as Auburn quarterback Bo Nix announced that he is planning to enter the portal as a grad transfer.
This news may not directly affect Ole Miss, but it affects the quarterback transfer market as a whole, and as the Rebels seek Matt Corral's replacement, any news on that front is relevant.
DECEMBER 11, 8:00 PM UPDATE:
Incarnate Word quarterback Cam Ward entered the transfer portal on Dec. 9, and he announced receiving an offer from Ole Miss on Saturday night.
With Matt Corral departing for the NFL after Ole Miss faces Baylor in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, rumors have been circulating regarding who would take his place as the Rebels' signal caller. Ward threw for over 4,000 yards and 47 touchdowns this season with Incarnate Word.
DECEMBER 11, 9:45 AM UPDATE:
One of the bigger Egg Bowl battles left in the class of 2022 is with the junior college ranks, regarding Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offensive lineman Percy Lewis.
The Magnolia state native, a former Oregon commitment, is considering several programs down the stretch though most expect him to pick Ole Miss or Mississippi State.
"He's going to be tough to get out of state," a local source told The Grove Report this week.
Lewis has visited each program at length and will spend the final weekend of the cycle in Starkville for his official visit. The massive, 6'8" prospect was in Oxford last weekend for a final look at the Rebels before the Early Signing Period opens on Wednesday.
Lane Kiffin and company have four offensive line recruits already on board in the current recruiting class, but none with the college experience Lewis offers.
DECEMBER 9, 8:00 AM UPDATE:
Less than 24 hours after decommitting from Florida, Nick Evers has seen his stock rise on the recruiting trail. Not only did Oklahoma's new staff jump in with an offer, courtesy of former Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, but so did the Rebels.
Rebel passing game coordinator John Davis Baker was in-home with Evers' camp before extending the offer on Wednesday evening.
As of right now, Evers plans on signing Wednesday to end the recruiting process. No concrete visit plans are set for the final weekend of the recruiting cycle, though OU offers a closer-to-home option compared to OM.
DECEMBER 8, 6:15 PM UPDATE:
Stop us if you've heard this before -- but Lane Kiffin is back at it on Twitter. The Ole Miss coach, recently extended by the program, has been busy on the recruiting trail less than a week ahead of signing day.
On Tuesday, he began trekking in the state of Georgia and he remains in the state as of Wednesday evening, per his social media account.
Kiffin posted a picture of a World War II hangar in south Georgia, indicating the update on his location (much like he did at Auburn University Regional Airport to see Jarell Stinson earlier in the week).
A day earlier, he was at the school of lengthy offensive tackle target Falentha Carswell alongside offensive line coach Jake Thornton. The Sandersville (Ga.) Washington County offensive lineman has been committed to Miami since July but took an official visit to Oxford during the season.
For those curious on location, the high school is east of Macon, Georgia, southwest of Augusta. It appears Kiffin has been busy in the Peach State of late.
DECEMBER 7, 1:45 PM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top targets along the offensive line will soon end the recruiting process.
Percy Lewis, longtime Oregon commitment now back on the market down the stretch, confirmed to The Grove Report he will be signing next week during the Early Signing Period.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offensive lineman, listed at 6'8", 350 pounds by the program, is still considering multiple programs down the stretch. He was in Oxford over the weekend for one of the final visits on the trail.
Mississippi State and Ole Miss have each recruited the junior college star, a native of Sallis, for the bulk of his recruitment despite the initial call to play for the Oregon Ducks.
Ole Miss has four offensive lineman committed, with the re-commitment of Bryson Hurst, while State only has two following a decommitment from Cam East of late.
DECEMBER 6, 3:45 PM UPDATE:
As the coaching carousel spins, quarterback recruits take center stage, as usual. Some are following coaches to new stops while others look for new opportunities.
One in between is Henry Belin, the Bronx (N.Y.) Cardinal Hayes quarterback who committed to Duke back in July. While still on board with the Blue Devils and awaiting the new hire in Durham, several programs have established or re-established contact with the senior.
One of the programs to re-establish contact is Ole Miss, which Belin said offered a scholarship back in August shortly after programs are allowed to send written offers out. No visits are currently set up, but he could be a late prep QB name to keep an eye on with nine days to go until the Early Signing Period opens up on December 15.
Belin, who had Syracuse and Northwestern in his final three before picking Duke, has thrown for more than 2,500 yards in each of the last two varsity campaigns, combining for 40 touchdown passes and 14 more scores on the ground along the way.
DECEMBER 5, 8:00 PM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top targets, fresh off of winning a state championship, is back on campus at Ole Miss.
Jaheim Oatis, the SI99 recruit and longtime Alabama commitment, is back in Oxford -- this time for an official visit -- per a source.
The towering line prospect will be on campus Sunday and into Monday before heading to Hattiesburg to participate in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game this coming week.
Oatis, who has visited unofficially for multiple games this fall, has been courted by Ole Miss since Lane Kiffin's staff took over, serving as perhaps the top remaining priority in the state among those expected to sign on December 15.
DECEMBER 5, 9:00 AM UPDATE:
According to sources toldto Sports Illustrated's John Garcia, former TCU running back Zach Evans is currently visiting the program. Evans elected to enter the transfer portal following the hiring of Sonny Dykes from SMU.
A top-tier running prospect in the 2020 recruiting cycle, Evans was courted by multiple SEC programs, including Ole Miss. Last season in six games, the sophomore rushed for 648 yards off 92 carries and scored five touchdowns.
TCU is also expected to try to keep Evans in-state thanks to new RBs coach Ra’Shaad Samples. The two have spoken via social media since Evans' announcement.
DECEMBER 3, 4:30 PM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top overall targets is back on the market.
Cam East, the Louisiana offensive tackle recruit long committed to Mississippi State, backed off of the commitment on Friday evening. He announced the news via social media.
East took an official visit to Ole Miss in November and took two other trips on an official basis earlier. Lane Kiffin went on an in-home visit with East on Sunday, reiterating the priority level of the lengthy offensive tackle on the Rebel board.
Ole Miss has three offensive line commitments on board in the class of 2022.
DECEMBER 3, 10:45 AM UPDATE:
Ole Miss has been on the hunt for a quarterback and one of the more likely candidates to be in the running to replace Matt Corral will be in town this weekend.
Per a report from Brandon Marcello, UCF transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel will be on campus in Oxford this weekend. It will be the first visit since the lefty elected to search for a new home.
Of course, there is a connection to the Rebel program in that offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby was on staff at UCF, overlapping with Gabriel's time in Orlando.
Gabriel had more than 7,000 yards and 60 touchdown passes over the last two seasons before his 2021 campaign was cut short due to injury.
DECEMBER 2, 8:00 PM UPDATE:
Ole Miss coaches Lane Kiffin and Kevin Smith were present for the 5A Alabama state title game between Pike Road and Pleasant Grove. Ole Miss commit Quinshon Judkins is a part of Pleasant Grove's offensive attack and played a big part in the Patriots' win.
Kiffin tweeted this announcing his arrival at the game earlier this evening.
Judkins put on a show in front of his future coaches, leading Pike Road to the state title with 173 yards rushing on 33 carries, including three for touchdowns. The effort, which included the 43-yarder in the first half, earned the future Rebel MVP of the championship matchup.
DECEMBER 1, 6:20 PM UPDATE:
Top 2022 Ole Miss QB Target Devin Brown has officially found a new home, after committing to Ohio State on Wednesday afternoon.
Brown will immediately begin to compete with his former fellow 2022 classmate Quinn Ewers, who reclassified and enrolled early with the Buckeyes this past spring.
Alongside the Buckeyes and the Rebels, Brown was also heavily considering the University of Texas as a destination and had offers from Arizona State, Arizona, USC, Michigan State, and Notre Dame.
DECEMBER 1, 1:08 PM UPDATE:
Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby will reportedly be making his way to Louisiana on Wednesday to visit with the Rebels top target in the 2023 class, Isidore Newman (New Orleans, LA) quarterback Arch Manning.
LSU's Jake Peetz will also travel to meet Manning on Wednesday, with Texas scheduled to visit him on Thursday.
This will be the second time that an Ole Miss coach has visited Manning in New Orleans after Lane Kiffin took a visit to Isidore Newman for one of Manning's games less than two weeks ago.
The Rebels have long been thought to be in good position with Manning, though Texas and Georgia were reported to be the favorites for his services earlier this fall by Brooks Austin of Dawgs daily.
Manning will not make a decision until next spring at the earliest, in a process that could very well last into the Summer.
NOVEMBER 30, 11:45 AM UPDATE:
Ole Miss has made no secret it wants to bring in more help along the offensive line, and a new target has emerged.
Florida International University transfer prospect Miles Frazier, who announced his intentions to leave the Golden Panther program just yesterday, has been compiling offers.
Ole Miss is the latest in the bunch.
Frazier has already publicly confirmed offers to play at Florida State, Miami, Mississippi State, Iowa State, Syracuse, Purdue, Colorado, Virginia and several others.
The 6'6", 320-pound tackle, native to New Jersey, says he has three years of eligibility remaining. Frazier started in 2020 along the FIU offensive line and saw even more action in 2021, appearing in all 12 games for the 1-11 program, which moved on from Butch Davis earlier this fall.
NOVEMBER 29, 11:45 AM UPDATE:
Lane Kiffin has been in-home recruiting since Sunday, stopping in to see offensive line commitment Preston Cushman as well as top target (and Mississippi State commitment) Cam East.
On Monday, offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby was on the ground in northern California checking in on prospects.
Folsom (Calif.) High School is home to elite junior recruit Rico Flores, Jr., who picked up an offer while Lebby was in town. The wide receiver projection holds two dozen offers, including Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and USC on his early list.
Folsom High is fresh off of a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 Section Championship Friday night.
NOVEMBER 23, 11:15 AM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top targets is back on the market.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offensive lineman Percy Lewis, a Mississippi native, backed off of a commitment to Oregon on Tuesday morning. The sophomore had been committed to Mario Cristobal and company since March.
Lewis announced the news via social media.
Lewis has been to Oxford on multiple occasions and it also considering rival Mississippi State.
The massive, 6'8", 350-pound prospect says he will make a final decision on the first day of the Early Signing Period, set to open December 1
NOVEMBER 22, 4:00 PM UPDATE:
One of the Rebel targets in the 2023 cycle has set a commitment date.
Ethan Davis, tight end and basketball recruit out of Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill High School, will come off the board on December 12, he announced Monday via social media.
The big pass catcher also announced a top seven, including Georgia, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Penn State, Florida State and South Carolina in addition to Ole Miss.
Davis, who burst onto the scene this spring, spent time in Oxford last month for the Arkansas game. He has also visited Georgia and Tennessee of late.
"Honestly, everything, there wasn’t a dull moment I was there," Davis said following the win over UA. "From chilling in the office with Coach (John David) Baker to watching the last play of the game, man, it was crazy.
"I was cheering like I was an Ole Miss fan. On that last play when they didn’t convert the 2-point conversion, the whole stadium was shaking."
The Rebels initially offered him in late May and have been in the running ever since.
NOVEMBER 17, 2:30 PM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top targets will not come off the board very soon.
Matthew McCoy, the St. John's (Fla.) Creekside offensive tackle prospect who visited Ole Miss officially back in October, will take his recruitment the distance.
The senior revealed the plans to Sports Illustrated this week, as the traditional signing period window in February is when he will end the process.
"Going to deal with the recruiting process more after the season, things like that," McCoy told Fan Nation's Brian Smith. "So, I’m just kind of leaving that there. You know, I’ll have enough time to figure it out.”
In addition to Ole Miss, Florida, Miami, Maryland and others are involved. Each will receive an official visit before all is said and done, with Miami getting the next trip to kick off the month of December.
The Rebels have a big need at the position in the 2022 cycle, especially after the de-commitment of in-state offensive tackle Bryson Hurst over the weekend.
NOVEMBER 11, 12:30 PM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' most recent official visitors is closing in on making a commitment.
Louisiana defensive back recruit Jordan Allen, who took an official visit to Oxford around the same time he backed off of a longtime commitment to Penn State in October, remembers his trip to town fondly.
Even spending time with the nation's most talked-about recruit, in the process.
"They say I can play early and make a great impact as a corner and a nickel. Coach (Terrell) Buckley and I have been tight, even after I committed he would just check on me and stuff like that."
Miami, Florida and Georgia, along with Penn State according to Allen, are in the running to sign him when the Early Signing Period opens up on December 15.
One official visit destination, likely going to Florida or Georgia, is still to be determined before the final pick is to be made by Allen, who knows the clock is ticking.
NOVEMBER 5, 7:30 PM UPDATE:
Originally set for this weekend with Liberty in town, The Grove Report has learned the highly-anticipated Walker Howard visit to Oxford will be the following weekend, most likely.
Expected to be an official visit if the plans are completely locked in, the longtime LSU commitment and SI99 recruit will now see Oxford with Texas A&M in town. the Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas More standout is back on the field and led his squad in a huge shootout win Friday night after returning from a fibula injury.
Howard has admitted he wants to be in Baton Rouge when all is said and done, but the coaching change at LSU has him doing some due diligence. Howard was at Notre Dame in late October for a visit, too.
Lane Kiffin and the Rebels do not have a quarterback recruit verbally committed in the class of 2022. In addition to Howard, the staff is recruiting another elite arm committed elsewhere in USC pledge Devin Brown, who already took his official visit to Oxford.
NOVEMBER 3, 8:15 AM UPDATE:
Arch Manning wrapped up his game visits for the 2021 season over the weekend with a trip to see Clemson defeat Florida State.
The 2023 recruit's head coach at New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman, Nelson Stewart, connected with Fan Nation sister site All Clemson for more, all but confirming the timeline for the phenom's college commitment.
"I think ideally you'd like to maybe get it done by the spring but he's not holding himself to any sort of timetable," Stewart said. "I think he's not going to rush anything. I think for him, it's all about the process of really being thorough and really all about the right fit. Like he always says, when you know, you'll know."
As one may expect, the family does not want to have fluctuation with Manning when he does elect to make his decision -- hence the desire to take all the time needed to make the right pick.
"I think he's just really being mature about it," Stewart added. "He's not gonna rush and he's gonna be sure he makes the right choice for himself. He takes his role seriously. And commitment is something that he's just had. It's a commitment to attend the university and it's not something that he takes lightly."
Plenty remains to be seen in the most hyped recruitment in recent college football history, one Ole Miss is of course in the thick of. Manning has now taken unofficial game visits to Oxford, to which he calls his second home, along with Alabama, Georgia, Texas and now Clemson. Programs like LSU and SMU have been linked to the junior, too, though his camp has never put out a list of favorites.
It likely won’t play the top schools game most recruits do, at least not publicly.
With the timeline pretty firm into next year, Manning won't make a call until all the coaching carousel dust settles beyond December, where he will have a better idea of exactly who he is likely to play for at the next level.
OCTOBER 29, 9:30 PM UPDATE:
Ole Miss assistant coaches Terrell Buckley and John David Baker were spotted at a high school game between Auburn High School and IMG Academy. Ole Miss signed IMG product Markevious Brown last year.
OCTOBER 29, 8:30 AM UPDATE:
Ole Miss hosted a bevy of top talent for the win over LSU and Arch Manning wasn't the only legacy recruit in town in the class of 2023.
Brycen Sanders, a 6'6", 280-pound offensive lineman out of Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor, was on campus for the first time to see where his grandfather once laced them up.
"He played there in 1970 with Archie Manning, and his roommate was Joe Burrow’s dad," Sanders said. "He played center."
Sanders is more of a tackle recruit, and one of the most coveted in the junior class. The Rebels offered back in December 2020.
"It was super fun," he said. "Going to the grove before the game was probably the highlight for me. The fans were super nice and welcoming, and it was a great atmosphere. It was a great game."
Spending time with multiple Ole Miss coaches, offensive line coach Jake Thornton has been in communication with the young target for some time.
"It feels great to be wanted at a historical program, with one of the best coaching staffs," Sanders said. "They said that I would be a great fit at Ole Miss."
Sanders, who also throws the shotput and discuss for Baylor's track team, is early in the recruiting process at this time. He will continue to take visits and will be in Columbus to see Ohio State this weekend.
OCTOBER 26, 9:00 AM UPDATE:
The mega visit weekend Ole Miss just hosted with LSU in town was star-studded beyond Arch Manning and droves of commitments coming back to campus.
The state's top senior prospect, Khamauri Rogers, was a tentative addition to the list because he had a standardized test to take on Saturday morning. It ended up preventing him from getting to Oxford, but he will be back in town after all.
Rogers told SI All-American he will be back in for his official visit next month.
"I changed it to the weekend they play Texas A&M," he said.
The weekend of November 13 will feature the next time an SEC opponent comes to town.
Ole Miss has been heavy on Rogers, along with Mississippi State and Tennessee. The current Miami verbal commitment says he is solid to The U but has the door slightly open because of the talk around the program's 3-4 start and how it may affect the Hurricane's coaching staff.
"Coach (Terrell) Buckley has been recruiting me since I was in ninth grade, when he was at Mississippi State," Rogers said this month. "I just know he's a good coach, he produces a lot of good players and puts DBs in the league."
The lengthy cornerback, ranked as the nation's No. 6 cornerback recruit, continues to rehabilitate a torn ACL suffered early in his senior season.
OCTOBER 25, 9:15 AM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top weekend visitors has re-opened his recruiting process.
Jordan Allen, senior defensive back out of Lafayette (La.) Christian Academy, has decommitted from Penn State. He had been committed to the Nittany Lions since July.
The senior standout, who has collected more than 40 scholarship offers throughout the process, took a weekend trip to Ole Miss for its sold out showdown with LSU. Multiple reports suggest the trip was an official visit, where he would spend 48 hours in Oxford on the program's dime.
The Rebels have been courting Allen since March and the program made his top six before the PSU commitment. Tennessee, Georgia, Louisville and Miami rounded out that group.
OCTOBER 23, 10:30 AM UPDATE:
Ole Miss is receiving a major surprise visitor ahead of the rivalry matchup with LSU on Saturday, in 2023 IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) wideout Carnell Tate.
Tate listed the Rebels in his top-10 this past July, alongside Florida State, Illinois, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, and Texas.
OCTOBER 22, 12:00 PM UPDATE:
The recruiting weekend in Oxford is a massive storyline but the program continues to track prospects outside of the visit list, too. Arch Manning isn't the only class of 2023 talent the Rebels are in on, either.
Keion Wallace is a two-sport standout from Springfield (Ga.) Effingham County, with looks on the basketball court and in football as a big pass-catcher given his listed frame at 6'3", 215 pounds.
"They offered me to play tight end," Wallace told The Grove Report. "I haven't visited yet but I’m looking forward to it, soon."
The junior has been out for just over one month because of a torn labrum suffered over the summer, with an operation coming in mid September. Lane Kiffin's coaching staff hasn't slowed its contact with him since offering in August.
"I’ve talked to many of the coaches, some of them checked up on me when I had my surgery so it’s all love from them," Wallace said. "They’ll definitely stay in the mix, because the program is one of the best I’ve seen. They’re a family.
"I know they like to put the ball in the air and let playmakers make plays and I feel like they’re doing good this season with their schemes. Plus the have a Heisman QB in my eyes."
Wallace, who is visiting Georgia Tech next weekend, expects to work on setting an initial visit date to Oxford possibly before the end of the 2021 season. He has discussed as much with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, he says.
Tech, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Georgia State are among the programs having offered in football to date. Most programs view him how Kiffin's staff does, as a hybrid tight end type. Wallace caught 27 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore in 2020, per Maxpreps.
OCTOBER 19, 12:45 PM UPDATE:
It is no secret that Ole Miss is about to receive its most anticipated visit of the year this weekend when top 2023 QB Arch Manning makes his way to Oxford for the Rebels matchup vs. LSU on Saturday.
However, per a report from SI All-American, Manning is not the only elite 2023 prospect that will be heading to campus this weekend, with DeSoto (TX) wideout Johntay Cook also set to make the trip.
"I was gonna go to Ole Miss on the 23rd (of October)," Cook said in the interview. "I was gonna go to Texas A&M vs. Auburn on November 6. I was gonna try to catch a night game at LSU."
Cook just recently released his top 12 finalists, consisting of Texas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, LSU, Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida, Alabama, and USC.
OCTOBER 18, 1:00 PM UPDATE:
One of Ole Miss' top recruiting targets will come off the board in 10 days time.
Inglewood (Calif.) High School quarterback Justyn Martin will make the call between Ole Miss, UCLA and Michigan on October 28, he told SI All-American.
The No. 10 passer in the class of 2022 was in Oxford for its win over Tulane and had strong reviews of the official visit after meeting with Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby. UCLA got him on campus soon after and Martin will return to Los Angeles for his official visit there this weekend.
The other contender, Michigan, could not get a visit out of the California prep star, so it appears the Wolverines are on the outside looking in for the former Cal Bear pledge.
Ole Miss is recruiting Martin and current USC verbal commitment Devin Brown as its primary quarterback options in the class of 2022. Kiffin, Lebby and company have yet to reel in a player at the position in the class.
OCTOBER 15, 11:00 AM UPDATE:
One of the nation's top junior tight ends was in town for the Ole Miss and Arkansas thriller over the weekend. If you had ESPN on the television Thursday night, you saw him in action and in the end zone.
Ethan Davis, a class of 2023 recruit from Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill High School, has offers to play both football and basketball at Ole Miss. He helped the Eagles dominate North Gwinnett 35-7 on Thursday night, hauling in six passes for 108 yards and one touchdown.
The two-sport star showcases the type of skill set college coaches covet. Looking back at the unofficial visit Saturday, he couldn't isolate one highlight moment while in town.
"Honestly, everything, there wasn’t a dull moment I was there," Davis said. "From chilling in the office with Coach (John David) Baker to watching the last play of the game, man, it was crazy.
"I was cheering like I was an Ole Miss fan. On that last play when they didn’t convert the 2-point conversion, the whole stadium was shaking."
Davis is extremely coveted at 6'5", 210 pounds, with more than a dozen scholarship offers to his name. He broke out in the spring when committing more time to football as a flex tight end and sees a fit in Lane Kiffin's scheme.
"They feel they can get me to the next level," he said of the Rebel pitch. "And that's the main goal at the end of the day."
Davis will actually see the Rebels in action again on Saturday, attending as a Tennessee recruit in Knoxville.
OCTOBER 14, 7:35 PM UPDATE:
The Ole Miss Rebels have landed an official visit from one of the fastest rising prospects in the 2022 class, Creekside (St. Augustine, FL) offensive tackle, Matthew McCoy.
McCoy has been one of the hottest names on the recruiting trail over the last few weeks, landing offers from Ole Miss, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, TCU, Mississippi State, Louisville, and Maryland all in the last month.
OCTOBER 12, 6:00 PM UPDATE:
The state of Mississippi's best will soon be back in Oxford.
Khamauri Rogers, SI99 cornerback recruit from Lexington (Miss.) Holmes County and the highest-ranked nationally from the Magnolia State told SI All-American he will take an official visit to Ole Miss when the Rebels host LSU the weekend of October 23.
The Miami verbal commitment remains on board with the Hurricanes but has developed a longstanding relationship with Rebel defensive backs coach Terrell Buckley, along with communication with head coach Lane Kiffin of late.
"Coach Buckley has been recruiting me since I was in ninth grade, when he was at Mississippi State," Rogers said. "I just know he's a good coach, he produces a lot of good players and puts DBs in the league."
Mississippi State and Tennessee also remain in pursuit of Rogers, who had surgery for a torn ACL in September, despite his commitment status. He will be in Starkville for the MSU showdown against Alabama this weekend.
A one-time LSU commitment, Rogers ranks as the No. 6 cornerback recruit and No. 43 overall recruit in the class of 2022 on SI All-American. He grew up favoring Ole Miss over rival MSU, too.
An official visit to Tennessee is likely this fall, too. Rogers plans on signing during the Early Signing Period window, opening up on December 15.
OCTOBER 8, 9:40 AM UPDATE:
Ole Miss has a big recruiting weekend on deck for the bounce-back type affair with Arkansas and the list of prospects expected grows by the day.
Plenty of offensive talent, even quarterbacks through multiple classes, will be in Oxford but the defensive side has priorities on the way as well.
Jaron Willis, ranked as an SI99 prospect at off-ball linebacker, told SI All-American he will make an official visit to Oxford this weekend. The Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County star has been committed to Georgia Tech since May, but admits Ole Miss, Florida and Florida State continue to pursue him.
There are several connections to the current Ole Miss roster relative to Lee County High School, too. It starts with arguably the top player on the Rebel defense, Otis Reese.
"Yeah I actually play his position when he was at Lee," Willis said. "And Mark Robinson (Ole Miss senior linebacker) is my cousin, so he give me a big impact to see two guys I'm close with have the success that I'm having."
The Peach State linebacker has of course kept an eye on DJ Durkin's side of the football in 2021, too.
"Come on now it’s the defense," Willis said. "Really been impressive, even though OM lost to Alabama, but I don’t count 'Bama. 'Bama gonna be 'Bama if you know what I mean."
OCTOBER 7, 11:45 AM UPDATE:
A big surprise went down in the college football recruiting world Thursday morning as Mario Eugenio opened his recruitment back up.
The Tampa (Fla.) Gaither pass rusher, ranked among the nation's top prospects as a member of the SI99 for the class of 2022, had been committed to Michigan since the summer months. Eugenio was even a strong recruiter for the Wolverines, until now.
The Floridian had a bevy of scholarship offers, reporting 30-plus prior to making the move to pick the Wolverines and took a pair of official visits in June, seeing the Iowa State Cyclones as well as UM. Matt Campbell's program will be in the hunt moving forward, but they won't be alone.
A source Thursday morning said Ole Miss is one of the programs to make contact with Eugenio's camp following the public decommitment from Michigan.
"My recruitment is 100% open," Eugenio said Thursday via social media.
Oregon, Miami, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and others are expected to be in the mix for one of Florida's top pass rushers, who registered 30 sacks between 2019 and 2020. A groin issue has slowed the senior down in 2021 to date.
Ole Miss has yet to secure a pass-rushing pledge in the class of 2022, so any progress with Eugenio is worth keeping an eye on.
OCTOBER 6, 12:00 PM UPDATE:
Ole Miss is in the thick of the race for the hottest senior-riser among offensive tackle prospects, nationally.
Matthew McCoy, of St. John's (Fla.) Creekside High School, has seen his stock sky rocket this fall given the play of the 6'6" converted tight end prospect, with offers from coast to coast pouring in. In addition to Ole Miss, programs like Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Maryland, Pitt, and Minnesota, where his older brother Luther plays defensive line, have jumped in.
The Rebels have been showing as much love as any program to date and now it will get the chance to host McCoy on an official visit. In speaking to sister site Nole Gameday, the senior confirmed an official visit to Oxford is in the works for the weekend of October 23, when LSU is in town.
“I’ve been talking to Coach (Jake) Thornton the most and Coach (Lane) Kiffin," McCoy said. "I love how both coaches reach out to me and keep me and interested and I love their offense. They are one of the top schools in the SEC.
"I can’t say too much because I will be officially visiting there soon.”
McCoy is a spring graduate so he may not sign during the Early Signing Period, which begins December 15.
OCTOBER 5, 10:15 AM UPDATE:
UCLA had similar early-season momentum to Ole Miss on the football field following its win over LSU to kick off the year, but it has since faded with the Bruins now sitting at 3-2 following a loss to Arizona State.
That Saturday evening game, despite defeat, featured a pair of prized quarterback recruits on campus for Chip Kelly and they happen to be the pair Lane Kiffin has zeroed in on of late.
Justyn Martin, the No. 10 QB on SI All-American, was back on campus for an unofficial visit and he will return to UCLA for his official visit later this month. The former Cal pledge was in Oxford earlier this season and has been impressed, though he called UCLA his "dream school" as well. Michigan and USC are also in the mix for the Inglewood (Calif.) star.
The other passer on campus makes his first trip to Oxford this weekend. Devin Brown has been a USC commitment for more than a year and he has been saying the right things about the Trojans, but also has his head on a swivel. He was at UCLA, another new offer of his, for an unofficial visit and spent two days on campus.
Could the window for the next Ole Miss quarterback recruit really be in Kelly's court? Cal, which offered Brown and is still recruiting Martin, is also in the mix for the pair but tracking the visits suggests UCLA potentially landing Martin and Brown opting to stick it out at USC or being the latest west coast start to end up at Ole Miss.
"I’m sure Oxford and SEC football will be wild," Brown said Tuesday.
In any event, expect Kiffin and Jeff Lebby to air it out versus Arkansas with the nation's most prolific high school passer on campus. Brown has lit it up with Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon thus far in 2021.
SEPTEMBER 30, 6:15 PM UPDATE:
One of the nation's top 2023 football prospects, Sonny Styles, has trimmed a gaudy list of scholarship offers down to a handful.
The Pickerington (Ohio) Central hybrid defender, who is listed at 6'4", 215 pounds, included Ole Miss in his list of five programs along with Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida, he announced via social media Thursday evening. Styles has been coveted for years and has considerable visits under his belt, including a trip to Oxford over the summer.
Styles's father Lorenzo played at Ohio State while his older brother, Lorenzo Jr., is a freshman at Notre Dame. The youngest Styles could play safety or linebacker at the collegiate level.
SEPTEMBER 28, 1:15 PM UPDATE:
Ole Miss is gearing up for a run in the class of 2022, among high school seniors, but it continues to recruit multiple classes simultaneously. During the 3-0 run it has had thus far in 2021, several young prospects have learned of new scholarship offers from the Rebel coaching staff.
One to keep an eye on is Jaylen Mbawke, a sophomore from the state of Alabama with prowess as a wide receiver and defensive back. The Rebels became his eighth scholarship offer just last week.
"Ole Miss offered me as a wide receiver," he said. "They are pretty explosive on offense, which is a great fit for me."
The 6', 175-pound Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville product has additional offers in from the likes of Georgia, Auburn, Arkansas, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Louisville and UAB in addition to Ole Miss.
He is in no rush to make an early decision.
"I am keeping up with each school that has extended an offer," he said. "This is going to be a long but exciting and rewarding recruiting journey."
Mbakwe has offers on each side of the football, but his speed has Lane Kiffin and company interested on offense. The class of 2024 recruit ran a 10.76-second 100 meter dash in the spring and he has helped Clay-Chalkville to a 5-0 start on the football field. The Cougars are averaging more than 50 points per game and have shut out two opponents in the process.
SEPTEMBER 27, 9:10 AM UPDATE:
The time has come for Jarell Stinson.
The Opelika (Ala.) High School two-way star, a one-time Auburn verbal commitment, is coming off the board this week.
Stinson's Wednesday commitment will come with much anticipation considering the programs in the mix for his recruitment as well as the talent he possesses. Stinson is the reigning Alabama Class 6A 100, 200 and 400 meter dash champion on the track. On Friday night's he splits time between running back, defensive back and return man.
Ole Miss is coveting the Alabamian as a defensive back, similar to most programs, though the expectation to handle the ball in the return game is a fair assumption regardless of college destination.
Stinson originally committed to Gus Malzahn at Auburn, before he was dismissed. He has since visited UCF, under Malzahn, and the Knights are still in the mix.
Ole Miss, Penn State, Florida and Florida State round out the contenders for the senior, who visited Oxford for the home opener vs. Austin Peay. He was also on campus to cap the summer window in late July, reemphasizing how the Rebels are at the forefront of the discussion surrounding the commitment.
SEPTEMBER 24, 8:10 AM UPDATE:
Lane Kiffin has hit the road during Ole Miss' bye week and he appears to be on an important evaluation trip in California on Friday. The Rebel coach posted his arrival in Los Angeles on Twitter late Thursday evening.
Ole Miss is after several California prospects in the class of 2022 and beyond, most notably Justyn Martin. The Inglewood (Calif.) High School quarterback was in Oxford last weekend for his official visit and de-committed from Cal just days later.
Since, Martin has admitted Ole Miss, UCLA and others are squarely in the mix for his services.
Inglewood is undefeated thus far in 2021 and plays at Palos Verdes (Calif.) High School on Friday afternoon. Expect Kiffin to get a closer look at his next top quarterback target.
SEPTEMBER 21, 12:20 PM UPDATE:
Ole Miss football coaches, including head coach began the bye week on the road recruiting. Kiffin and running backs coach Kevin Smith spent some time at Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International on Monday, meeting with Knights head coach Jesse Chinchar on a variety of class of 2022 and 2023 recruits.
The Rebels have an offer into red-hot defensive lineman Isaiah Hastings, who has also reeled in Alabama and Georgia of late. The senior appears to be no rush to make a decision and will be busy on the visit trail, he says. Hastings was at Florida for the near upset of Alabama and is planning an official visit to Oregon, per SI All-American.
Ole Miss has also been recruiting junior offensive lineman Lucas Simmons for some time, too. The 6'7" left tackle prospect is among the most coveted at the position in the class of 2023. The Rebels offered on June 21 not long after Simmons hit a tour of top programs across the country as the prospect visit window opened back up.
The Knights have signed a steady amount of Power 5 prospects over the last several cycles and it features a group of talented international underclassmen as well. The Ole Miss staff could have a jump on the Knights' next wave.
SEPTEMBER 20, 10:38 AM UPDATE:
On the heels of a 3-0 start and the nation's top offense, Ole Miss is in the running for one of America's top running backs. On Monday, Quinshon Judkins announced the Rebels in the race through the end of the process, as he trimmed his list of scholarship offers down to three.
The Rebels will battle Notre Dame and in-state Auburn for the Pike Road (Ala.) High School star.
Judkins was a first-team all-state running back selection as a junior in 2020 in Class 5A after rushing for 1,428 yards and 25 touchdowns on just 150 carries (9.88 ypc). He made his 2021 debut on September 10, after dealing with a hamstring injury, and picked up right where he left off. Judkins has scored five touchdowns in his wo games back, including four in a 55-0 Patriot win over Dothan (Ala.) Rehobeth High School on Friday night.
There is no public timeline for Judkins' decision. He has taken several visits, including to Ole Miss for an official visit over the weekend, and figures to take more going forward.
SEPTEMBER 16, 11:08 AM UPDATE:
Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove High School linebacker and Ole Miss target CJ Madden announced his college commitment on Thursday, spurning the Rebels for the likes of the Georgia Bulldogs.
"I just feel like I just set myself up for the better position for the next step," Madden told SI All-American of his choice. "What I am looking for in a college is a great relationship with the coaches and a chance to win a national championship.
The projected edge rusher chose the Bulldogs over the Rebels, Tennessee, Oregon and Colorado.
September 15, 1:00 PM UPDATE:
One of the fastest prospects in the southern footprint, Jarell Stinson, continues to consider Ole Miss among his top programs. The Opelika (Ala.) two-way standout, who plays both running back and defensive back, was back in Oxford for the Rebel win over Austin Peay Saturday.
"It was great getting to talk to all the coaches and see the atmosphere," Stinson said.
A Class 6A Alabama state champion on the track in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes this spring, he says he has been in touch with multiple coaches on the defensive staff over the last several months.
Stinson was on campus in July to cap his offseason, before returning Saturday for his first game action on campus. A former commitment to nearby Auburn, the speedy talent is now focused on five other programs -- Penn State, Florida, Florida State, UCF and of course Ole Miss. The top five was announced the first week of August and he has visited each program in the mix outside of Penn State to date.
A decision could come at any time.
September 9, 2:30 PM UPDATE: Ole Miss figures to be square in the mix for newly-offered Florida prospect Tristen Sion.
Sion, who could play either side of the ball at the next level, says his list of two dozen-plus scholarship offers will soon begin to be narrowed. A group of top programs is due at the end of the month and the Rebels appear in position to remain in play for the talented Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards prospect.
"Things opened up Sep. 1" the junior said. "Once 12:01 hit I realized the schools that really want me.
"Ole Miss is one of my dream schools. They're really recruiting me as an whole, instead of just my position coach. Coach (Lane) Kiffin was the first Ole Miss coach to text me at 12:01 -- I just didn’t expect an offer at the moment."
Sion has worked mostly in the secondary as a junior, with time spent at cornerbck as well as inside as a nickel. Rickards is 1-1 thus far in the 2021 season.
September 4, 7:30 PM UPDATE: On Saturday, elite 2023 Desoto (TX) wide receiver Johntay Cook announced that he's down to 12 schools including the Rebels.
Cook also included other prominent universities including Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Oregon, USC, Florida, Texas, LSU, USC and Oklahoma. Expect to continue seeing Cook rise the ladder of the 2023 recruiting class.
It is worth noting that Cook is quite close with Elite 2023 Isidor Newman (New Orleans, LA) quarterback prospect and Ole Miss legacy Arch Manning, with the two hoping to end up playing on the field with each other at the next level.
Cook has recently visited Texas, Texas A&M and Alabama over the summer, among others, alongside Manning in most occasions.
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