For the second straight day, Ole Miss has added an experienced linebacker to the team, as coach Hugh Freeze announced that junior college prospect Detric Bing-Dukes will join the Rebels.
Bing-Dukes, an Iowa Western Community College product, was a three-star recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite.
The 6-foot, 230-pounder originally began his college career at Georgia, where he signed out of Tucker (Ga.) High School. He left the Bulldogs to seek more playing time elsewhere, and now he could get that chance with Ole Miss.
Bing-Dukes joins graduate transfer Rommel Mageo, who comes to Oxford, Miss., from Oregon State, on the Rebels’ depth chart.
“We’re really excited about those two additions for us,” Freeze said to reporters Thursday. “Recruiting never ends as you know. We’re constantly looking. We’ve got a couple other guys we’re looking at bringing in on official visits very soon to see if they fit with us.”
There should be plenty of opportunities to get on the field for both Bing-Dukes and Mageo, as the duo increases the depth at a major position of need for the Rebels.
Ole Miss returns just two linebackers with significant playing experience in DeMarquis Gates and Terry Caldwell. Redshirt freshman Shawn Curtis and early enrollee Donta Evans will also be in the mix for early playing time. However, all eyes will be on the veterans, Bing-Dukes and Mageo, this fall.
“I expect Rommel and Detric to come in and compete right away for the Mike linebacker spot,” Freeze said. “Rommel, we’re obviously getting a guy there that’s a veteran. He’s played three years of major college football in a Power Five conference.
“My evaluation once we got word that he was released to move on after graduation, I immediately pulled out film against two of their rivals and that guy plays hard. He’s play physical. He’s got the stats. We feel like he may be the guy. We don’t know that for sure, but he’s got to come in and earn it like everybody else. That’s a place we need a little help.”
It isn’t the position Ole Miss wants to be in following some key misses down the stretch on National Signing Day, but the Rebels are putting some pieces together to help patch over the glaring weakness of a defense that has a ton of potential in 2016.