Family Visit

For Issac Gross, last weekend was routine. He'd been there before. For his family, however, it was different.

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"The weekend went good," said the 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive tackle from nearby South Panola High School in Batesville. "I'm glad my mom and my dad and family got to come up. They enjoyed it."

So did Gross, who didn't need to get familiar with Ole Miss or Oxford. But he did with the new coaches who have been on board for less than two months.

"Coach (Hugh) Freeze was everything I expected him to be," Gross said of the new head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. "I remember when he was here the first time (as an assistant coach under former head coach Ed Orgeron). He didn't know me, but I knew him. He's here for the team and he's here for the school."

Gross didn't need any reassurance about his commitment to the Rebels. But it never hurts to check everything out. Gross was satisfied once again he made the right decision choosing Ole Miss.

Issac Gross
File Photo

"I'm still committed, been committed a long time," he said. "My commitment is as strong as ever."

As for the staff of Freeze, Gross said it was good to get to know them. And he wants to get to know them even better in the days and months ahead, even before he arrives for college.

"I've been talking to (Chris Kiffin) a lot," he said of the Rebels' new defensive line coach, also a former staffer under Orgeron. "The guy I've really got to get to know more is (defensive coordinator) Coach (Dave) Wommack. I've met him but I want to get to know him more, and learn the defense. I know with Coach Kiffin it's going to be hard work on the D-Line. That's what I play, so I'll be able to learn it with no problem."

Gross said he did a little recruiting of other players who were here that aren't yet committed to Ole Miss.

"I tell them it's a good place to be," he said. "With this coaching staff, I tell them they don't have to worry about them leaving. They'll be here their entire career. The whole time you'll be here, they'll be here."

Gross, whose host was defensive end Carlos Thompson, admitted he hung out mainly with some of the already-committed players.

"I was mostly around the commits," he said. "Me, Channing (Ward), (Temario) Strong. We're just getting close. The closer we get, the stronger bond we'll get and the tighter we'll be to work with each other."

He continues to express how important it was for his family to be here last weekend to get to know the place he will call home for his college years.

"I've been over here a lot. I'm just glad my mom got up here, and she saw how everything was. My dad and everybody got to see the program and meet the coaches. Now they've got a little relationship with them," Gross said, also mentioning his little brother was here last weekend as well as his girlfriend who already goes to Ole Miss.

Gross said he is indeed ready for Feb. 1 to come and go. He's ready to sign with the Rebels and then head into the future.

"I'm just going to take that day just like every other day," he said of a week from Wednesday. "Only thing I'm going to do that day is sign. I'm just looking forward to it. Then I'm going to focus on working out, running, getting the playbook down pat."

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