'This has been a great day'

Houston Nutt was a happy head coach as the 2011 recruiting class filled needs and was loaded with Mississippians.

"As soon as that last whistle blew, we went to work," said Nutt, entering his fourth season as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. "This has been a great day. It started in Mississippi. If you told me last November we would have four U.S. Army All-Americans, which is a school record. If you'd told me we would have eight members of the best players in the state out of 12. If you'd have told me we were going to have the top five players in Mississippi and 12 Mississippi players that said they wanted to be Ole Miss Rebels...It's our staff, it's the body of work, it's the back to back Cotton Bowls, it's the belief in what we're doing."

Nutt said there was one special group that really helped in this year's recruiting.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt
AP File Photo
"I've got to give credit to the Mississippi mothers. The living rooms we've been in have been awesome. For example, Aaron Morris' mother. She recruited other mothers. They've been solid for so long. Senquez Golson heavily recruited. Donte Moncrief. The backbone of Mississippi has been awesome. I wish the mothers were here so you could see what I'm talking about, hear that they have, the way they raised their young men. It's going to be a privilege to take the baton from them.

"But again it goes back to the body of work. As bad as we felt last season, we just went to work. I am really proud of our staff. They did it the right way and worked hard. It always came back to the relationships and the belief in where they're going. We've got a good thing going here at Ole Miss."

More from Nutt -

On addressing needs: "First and foremost two groups. We wanted to hit our secondary with taller, faster, stronger guys. That was a real need. We met those. Also this is one of the best group of receivers to ever come out of Mississippi. Tobias Singleton, Nickolas Brassell, Donte Moncrief. To get those three guys from in state, and then to get a guy like T.J. Worthy and Collins Moore really helped us there. And you always have to get linemen. Guys like Justin Bell, Aaron Morris, Ethan Hutson, Mitch Hall. Outstanding guys. Then on the defensive guys we had to have older guys in the middle. Guys like Uriah Grant, very strong and physical and we fought off Miami at the end. And a guy like C.J. Johnson, so athletic and special. Once he decommitted, Tyrone Nix had an excellent relationship. C.J. Johnson started recruiting our other guys. He said hey let's stay in Mississippi and win a championship right here. A lot of guys were listening. A lot of guys at the San Antonio all-star game told me he was the best they've seen at this stage. He's an imposing figure at 6-4, 237 that can just fly. He arrives in a bad mood and is fun to watch."

On the quarterbacks: "Both the quarterbacks I felt we needed. We had two on campus and got two more. Barry Brunetti and Zach Stoudt."

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt
Courtesy: Chuck Rounsaville
On the numbers: "We signed 22. That's pretty good. Those things usually work themselves out. I've never had a mother come up to me and say you weren't very truthful with me. We always lay things out in the beginning or the middle of the recruiting process where they have time to have their options if they want to go elsewhere. The numbers are going to work out fine."

More on Nick Brassell: I know this about Snoop. First of all, his mom did an outstanding job raising Nick. He was here a lot and on campus a lot, at our camps, at our senior camps. He was here unofficially a lot. He had a smile on his face. He's the first one on the field and the last one to leave. He was highly recruited. You feel good he knew the people in front of him that came from South Panola – Peria Jerry, John Jerry, Jamarca Sanford, Nick Parker. He talks to all those guys, how they were treated here. It's your staff and they believe in us. We believe in him and he believes in us. His mother knows he has to do things the right way here."

On Mississippi momentum: Good question. One, the body of work. They know we can win. They've seen that. The other thing is our players. They've got to be your ambassadors. When no coach is around, what's being said. You can lose a player in the first two minutes of a conversation with another athlete. Not with our team. They trust us and have a great relationship with us."

On the new coaches to the staff: Gunter Brewer probably had the most impact. He was here the quickest of the three new coaches. He knew Donte Moncrief in Raleigh, Mississippi. He had a lot to do with Snoop, finishing it up. Keith Burns came on late and did a good job. David (Lee) didn't have a chance."

On Woodrow Hamilton: "Woodrow is a guy 6-4, 290, and looks thin. Naturally strong. I've seen him dominate games. Look forward to Coach Price getting a hold of him. He's going to be a special player."

On the wide receivers: "Most explosive group of wide receivers we've ever signed here or (at other schools). Got to get the ball to the wideouts. Makes the running game better. Got to be balanced."

On Jamal Mosley: "An older guy. He's a tight end we haven't had in a while 6-4, 260 and runs light on his feet. Great hands. Total package. I'm excited about him."

On Uriah Grant: "He loved it. When you come from Miami, it's different. His mother is a great lady and said my boy wants to be here with you. They knew it was safe, and they wanted him to be here."

On defensive help: "We're going to tell them all to be able to come in and play. There's good competition. It's going to be interesting. I'm excited about it."

On what the staff missed: "Only thing we didn't sign was a tailback. We'll catch that up next year."

On the future: "It's time to get going and fill this thing up for BYU. Hope it's a hot day. Need to fill this place up. I'm excited about this group."

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