It’s never too early for football recruiting

Anybody that knows about college football knows that recruiting never stops. National Signing Day may still be over nine months away, but the spring is vital for gaining traction with recruits. And not just for the 2015 crop, but players in the 2016 and 2017 classes too.

Ole Miss is expected to sign 20 prospects for the upcoming class. Numbers include one quarterback, one, or two, running backs, a tight end and two wide receivers. A big portion of the class will be offensive lineman, where four are the target. Four defensive linemen have been targeted as a signing amount on that side of the ball.

Maurice Harris, the Rebels’ tight end coach, is in charge of recruiting offensive players to Ole Miss, as well as position players from North Mississippi, Tennessee and parts of Georgia.

“Our biggest needs are going to probably be offensive and defensive line, creating more depth at both of those spots. I think we’re going to sign maybe four offensive linemen and four defensive linemen as well,” Harris said. “It’s not going to be as big of a signing class because of numbers. We’re not losing as many seniors. With that being said, we have to be very selective of who we’re going after. Our goal is to sign about 20. It could be less, but definitely not more, unless something crazy happens.”

Harris, or any Ole Miss coach, can’t talk about an unsigned prospect on the record. They can comment on current players and the development of former Aberdeen tight end Channing Ward depends on how many tight ends are ultimately added to the roster. Ole Miss has a verbal pledge from North Panola’s Willie Hibbler (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) currently. Ward becoming an even more productive tight end this summer and during the season will keep that commit at one.

“It all depends on how Channing does. I thought he had a really great spring for us. He brought an element that we didn’t have last season, just a physical, on-the-ball tight end that can widen the line of scrimmage. It’s all depending on what Channing does and hopefully he continues to progress. There may not be another need to sign another tight end,” Harris said. “Channing has been a pleasant surprise. I knew he had the skill set, he just has to learn what we’re doing offensively and be able to translate that to on the field.”

Ole Miss has a verbal pledge from one running back currently, Dallas-based product Rawleigh Williams (5-10, 205). A top target is Georgia speedster Eric Swinney (5-10, 185) who is rated as the No. 6 overall prospect for the 2015 class in the state by Rivals.com.

On the defensive side of the ball, the goal is to garner two linebackers. Olive Branch’s Fred Walls (6-1, 210) is already on board in that department. Two corners are wanted for the class. Harris said the corner signings are tied in with guys who could be safeties, which means taller prospects rather than shorter.

For more on Harris’ interview, check back in the coming days and visit the Oxford Citizen.

By John Davis

Special to the Journal

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to Kory Keys and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Athletics, Football, Recruiting Tagged with: ,
  • Nigel Gruff

    I spent a couple of years on ROLLBAMAROLL and I’ve read some funny posts…but this is the craziest blog that I’ve seen. Crazier than Tigerdroppings? No! But close.

  • Nigel Gruff

    That guy that posts as Cid, Karl, Maryspitune, and bulldogsloser is completely whacky…I don’t see how he keeps up with it all. It must consume alot of his time. By the way he speaks of trailers, sisters and keeps replying to his other characters…I’m guessing he lives in IUKA. Just a guess.

  • Nigel Gruff

    Hey, if the post doesn’t have an avatar beside it…it’s not real. We all know that you are all 4 or 5 people or else you’d have the nerve to have a real avatar. I just ignore most of em, some are entertainment and some I can’t read.

  • JB

    I hope Ole Miss is successful in its recruiting again this season. I don’t think the rebels will ever match up with the competive teams it had in the 50 and ,60, many Mississippi player wanted to come to Ole miss because they were winners and they wanted to be a part of it. I had hopes in Dave Cutcliffe, he was a winner, but guess Ole miss higher echelon had different ideas. They wanted and went in the direction of Political correctness and it has been a disgrace.Yes, a couple of good seasons but down the drain they went. when the tradition of a school or any other establishment is destroyed it winds up in an unproductive manner.. I have had my say as an ole rebel fans, Going back to oxford area next week , but probably want recognize it. Good day to all !!

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