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:
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:
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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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