National Signing Day is almost here, but there’s a lot to be sorted out among Ole Miss’ top uncommitted targets over the next couple of days.
Here’s a breakdown of the top five players left on Ole Miss’ board:
Five-star defensive end Jeffery Simmons
There’s no greater target for Ole Miss than Simmons. The Macon, Miss., native is the top player in the state, and coach Hugh Freeze has made it a point of emphasis to consistently get the top players in Mississippi. At 6-foot-3, 277 pounds, Simmons provides a big body at defensive end that could potentially move inside down the road.
Ole Miss has long been considered the favorite for Simmons, but you can never feel too comfortable when Alabama and Mississippi State are lurking. Simmons visited Oxford, Miss., last weekend, so the Rebels have to feel confident heading into Wednesday.
Five-star linebacker Mique Juarez
Juarez is arguably the biggest need for an Ole Miss depth chart that lacks fire power at linebacker. A couple of weeks ago, the Rebels may have been the favorite, but as Wednesday inches closer, it feels like prying the Torrance, Calif., native out of his home state might be too much.
UCLA is the obvious choice, and Alabama got into the mix late as well. Nevertheless, Ole Miss has to hope the 6-foot-1, 231-pounder wants to play in the SEC. If that’s the case, the Rebels probably like their chances with a couple five-star linebackers in Ben Davis and Lyndell Wilson likely heading to Alabama.
Four-star defensive end Jonathan Kongbo
This could be the surprise for Ole Miss on Wednesday. When Kongbo (6-6, 264) de-committed from Tennessee early in January, the Rebels had a chance to get back in the game, but most experts still thought the Vols had the inside track for Kongbo’s services.
However, Ole Miss has been on him from the beginning and his teammate at Arizona Western College is Rebels commit David Luafatasaga. There’s plenty of optimism in Ole Miss’ corner for the top junior college prospect, but it wouldn’t be a huge shock if he ended up at Tennessee.
Four-star wide receiver A.J. Brown
If you love dramatic recruitments, follow what Brown (6-1, 220) does on Wednesday. He’s a kid that’s grown up a few miles away from Mississippi State, but Ole Miss and Alabama are heavily in the mix. Will the hometown pressure be too much for the Rebels and Crimson Tide to overcome, or will he spurn the Bulldogs and get away from Starkville, Miss.? If there’s any guy who could have a signing day to remember, it’s definitely Brown.
From a talent standpoint, the four-star talent is exceptional. He would be another elite wide receiver added to a deep Ole Miss depth chart, not to mention Brown would be the third four-star receiver in the Rebels’ recruiting class.
Four-star cornerback Shyheim Carter
It’s another Ole Miss-Alabama battle for Carter (6-foot, 190), along with Miami and LSU. The Kentwood, La., native de-committed from the Crimson Tide back in the fall, but Alabama has remained one of a few favorites. The Rebels undoubtedly would love to add an elite cornerback that can see action immediately in 2016, but both programs have plenty to sell.
The decision may come down to what other players do. Four-star cornerback Nigel Knott committed to Alabama over Ole Miss and Mississippi State on Monday, but that might be good news for the Rebels in regards to Carter’s impending decision.