Report card: A
Analysis: When a school signs a top-10 recruiting class, it’s hard to say the day was a disappointment, but for Ole Miss fans, that impulse is certainly there. However, the Rebels signed one of the nation’s top classes, which happens to be the best class in program history.
Sure, Ole Miss could’ve hit on a couple of players it thought it had and had a unanimous top-five class, but regardless of what happened on Wednesday, look at the big picture. The feeling of signing day often relates to how a school finishes, so timing plays a major role. If Ole Miss entered signing day without commitments from five-star quarterback Shea Patterson, five-star offensive tackle Greg Little and five-star defensive tackle Benito Jones, the Rebels would be jumping for joy about who they picked up. In the grand scheme of things, Ole Miss has an ultra-talented signing class, no matter how things ended.
Star of the class: It’s a two-man race between Patterson and Little, but you have to give the edge to the quarterback. He’s been committed to the Rebels for nearly a year and was among the core group of leaders that helped shape the class into the best in school history. Patterson will likely serve as a backup to returning senior Chad Kelly, but after that, it will be the Shea Patterson show in coach Hugh Freeze’s offense.
Three who could play next year: Five-star offensive tackle Greg Little, four-star safety Deontay Anderson, five-star defensive tackle Benito Jones
Biggest surprise: Ole Miss really didn’t have any surprises go its way on signing day, but although he was predicted to sign with the Rebels, most were probably a little taken back by four-star wide receiver A.J. Brown, a Starkville, Miss., product, signing with Ole Miss. However, Freeze said Brown told him he was coming two weeks ago.
The big fish that got away: As far as bad surprises go, five-star defensive end Jeffery Simmons was definitely the biggest shock. Ole Miss felt very good about landing the Macon, Miss., product as late as this morning, but in the end, rival Mississippi State landed Simmons’ signature. Four-star cornerback Shyheim Carter picked Alabama over the Rebels on Wednesday, and most people around Ole Miss felt that Carter was theirs to lose for quite a while. Also, the Rebels appeared to have the momentum for four-star defensive end Jonathan Kongbo heading into Wednesday, but Tennessee ended up picking up the nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect.
Final rankings: No. 4 in the nation and No. 3 in the SEC via ESPN; No. 5 in the nation and No. 3 in the SEC via Scout; No. 7 in the nation and No. 3 in the SEC via 247Sports; No. 7 in the nation and No. 3 in the SEC via Rivals.
All player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.