Wilkins to Ole Miss

National Signing Day is four days away, but Ole Miss received some good news early, as four-star running back Jordan Wilkins committed to the Rebels on Saturday night.

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Wilkins, of Cordova, Tenn., is rated the No. 39 running back in the country by Scout.com. He chose the Rebels over Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas and Vanderbilt.

"It feels good. It feels like a weight off my shoulders," Wilkins said. "I knew, 100 percent, Ole Miss was where I wanted to go. I feel great. I'm excited about it. I feel like we'll do great things at Ole Miss."

Wilkins had long been committed to Auburn, but de-committed late last month following an official visit to Ole Miss two weeks ago.

"I had a great time. It solidified it for me," he said of the official visit to Ole Miss. "I'm really close to all the coaches, and a great thing is that it's close to home. And with the recruiting class we're putting together, we can do some crazy things.

"Nobody ever expected Ole Miss to have a turnaround like this two years ago. We're going to do some big things. We're all excited about it."

Ole Miss was 7-6 last season, including a blowout win over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl Jan. 5 - an impressive rebound year for the Rebels after a 2-10 finish in 2011-12.

"The Auburn thing, they had so many changes," Wilkins said of his decision to de-commit. "I didn't really know any of the coaches and all that. I feel like everything happens for a reason. That wasn't the same place I committed to in the first place. Ole Miss ended up being where I needed to be."

Jordan Wilkins

He joins a star-studded group of backs in the 2013 class, which also includes four-star running backs Kailo Moore and Mark Dodson, and three-stars Peyton Barber and Eugene Brazley. Barber is currently on an official visit to Auburn.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Wilkins rushed for some 1,700 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior, when he was widely considered one of, if not the top, prospects in Tennessee.

He was on track for an even bigger output as a senior. However, he suffered a season-ending leg injury, breaking his fibula in the fifth game of his final season. Before the injury, he had totaled 1,011 yards and 18 touchdowns.

"I felt like I was playing more physically this season," Wilkins said in an interview with VandyMania.com. "I was running downhill faster. I added more weight and bulk in the off-season, so it took a lot more to take me down. Usually, I hit my peak toward the end of the season, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that this year."

Wilkins is now 100 percent after rehabbing from the injury. He's playing basketball for St. Benedict At Auburndale.

"They told me they don't have a bigger back," Wilkins said of Ole Miss. "All their backs are under 200 pounds. They need a guy that can come in and get the hard yards for them, but then can still run the screens and all the outside runs. I'm excited, like I said, and I feel like I can be used in a lot of different ways."

Along with his finalists, Wilkins held offers from Alabama, Michigan and Wisconsin. He visited Vanderbilt last week. He joins an Ole Miss commitment class ranked No. 11 in the country by Scout.com, and the class could possibly finish in the top-8.

The Rebels are among the finalists for, among others, five-star prospects Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil, Chris Jones and Antonio Conner.

"Freshman goals, I haven't set any right now," he said. "I'll get there and see how it goes. I hope I get a chance to play and show what I can do."

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