It’s safe to say expectations have changed at Ole Miss since coach Hugh Freeze took the job following the 2011 season.
The Rebels have increased their win total each year under Freeze, and on the recruiting trail, Ole Miss showed once again Wednesday that the Rebels are a national power.
Ole Miss signed the nation’s No. 5 class, possibly surpassing the memorable 2013 class, which featured offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who are all projected as first-round draft picks in the 2016 NFL Draft.
“We feel like top-to-bottom, it’s the best class we’ve had,” Freeze said. “And we’ve had some good ones.”
The Rebels signed five top-100 players, including two of the country’s top five players, and it was who Ole Miss picked up at quarterback that was the key to building Freeze’s best class yet.
“If you’re going to put together a championship class, a championship team, you start at quarterback, and we feel like we got the best one in the nation in Shea Patterson,” Freeze said. “I love everything about that kid. I love the way he’s helped be a leader in this class before he ever got here. Now that’s already enrolled and going through workouts and things, everything he does continues to validate my opinion of him.”
Overall, Freeze was really happy with what they got in this class, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
Ole Miss landed three four-star wide receivers in A.J. Brown, Tre Nixon and D.K. Metcalf to go along with three four-star tight ends in Octavious Cooley, Jacob Mathis and Gabe Angel. Suffice to say, Patterson should have plenty of weapons to work with during his career at Ole Miss.
Defensively, the Rebels didn’t finish as they hoped, but there is plenty to be excited about, especially five-star defensive tackle Benito Jones, who was an early enrollee. Freeze did admit that the depth along the defensive line is the one downside to the Rebels’ historic class.
Freeze also noted that he thinks three-star safety Myles Hartsfield, who was also an early enrollee, will be the steal of the class.
All player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.