Ole Miss Off to Fast Start

Aggressive would definitely be a word to describe the attitude of Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. His on-field demeanor and unique motivational tactics are proof of his assertive style. Orgeron's aggression can also be seen in recruiting as the Rebels have already received eight commitments for the class of 2007. Four of these commitments came during the past two weeks.

On February 9, defensive back Jamison Hughes became the fifth junior to pledge to Ole Miss. Hughes lives in Oxford and knows the Ole Miss staff well, especially his future defensive backs coach: his father, Tony. This was the main reason that the younger Hughes chose the Rebels so early, despite getting looks from schools such as Florida, Florida State, and Auburn. Hughes played corner at Oxford High School, but at 6-2, 200-pounds with a 4.55 time in the 40, he may wind up at safety.

After the commitment of Hughes last week, the Ole Miss staff got really busy this week. On Monday and Tuesday the Rebels secured commitments from three more recruits. For defensive end Dion Gales, it was not the first time that he had committed to the Rebels. The New Orleans native signed with Ole Miss in 2004 but was not qualified to play by NCAA standards, so he enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Despite the fact that Ole Miss had replaced then head coach David Cutcliffe with Orgeron, Gales still decided that Oxford was the place for him. Ole Miss beat out Mississippi State and Oklahoma State for his services.

Leroy Diggs became the third member of the South Panola High School team to commit to Ole Miss for the class 2007, joining four-star linebacker Chris Strong and running back Jeramie Griffin. Diggs was the quarterback for the AAAAA state champs, but at 5-10, 190-pounds, he will not be a signal caller in the SEC. He will use his 4.37 speed in the Rebel defensive backfield, most likely at cornerback. The Rebels other commitment was from defensive lineman Stanley Porter of Rosedale, MS. Porter played defensive end at West Bolivar High School, but Ole Miss is looking to move him inside. At 245 pounds, a redshirt year is most likely needed to put on some weight. <;/P>

Along with Ole Miss, Clemson is another school that has jumped out quickly at the start of the recruiting season. Last week they received their fifth commitment from the Palmetto state when offensive lineman David Smith of nearby Greenville announced his intention to attend Clemson. Proximity to home, and Clemson's No. 2 national ranking in graduation rate of football players were the two determining factors according to Smith.

The Tigers may also get a visit from one of the last two unsigned players on Scout.com's 2006 Hot 100 list. Clifton Geathers of Georgetown, SC is contemplating traveling across the state to visit Clemson this coming weekend. The five-star offensive lineman is most likely headed to prep school due to grade issues though he has recently visited Georgia and Florida State.

Four teams that appear on future Notre Dame schedules also received commitments during the past two weeks. Wide receiver Dwight Jones of Burlington, N.C. became the second junior to commit to North Carolina. At 6-5, 210 pounds, Jones is the definition of a big receiver. Virginia, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State were some the other schools that offered.

Pittsburgh received a commitment from 6-3, 275-pound Pittsburgh native Chris Jacobson. The offensive lineman had informally committed to the Panthers a while back, but he made it official this past weekend. He had also received an offer from West Virginia and was hearing from Penn State.

The Michigan Wolverines went into the Hoosier state and pulled out Fort Wayne safety Artis Chambers. Purdue and Indiana also offered Chambers. He is Michigan's second 2007 commitment, as fullback Vince Helmuth decided on Michigan at the end January.

Boston College picked up commitments from two high school teammates of Notre Dame recruit Barry Gallup. Dan Williams is a 6-3, 228 pound linebacker at Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Mass., and Corey Gatewood is a 5-11, 175-pound wide receiver.

Finally, this Friday should bring some closure to the Vidal Hazelton situation. For those that have not been following along, the top-ranked wide receiver on Scout.com committed to USC back in December. He then sent a letter of intent to Southern Cal that was not valid because it did not contain his father's signature. His father convinced him to take another look at Penn State, which he did two weeks ago. His father stated that he will make his decision known on Friday and there are indications that once again USC will be his choice.

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