Ole Miss couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2014 season.
The Rebels are 2-0 on the year following lopsided wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt. And on Tuesday, they landed a commitment from four-star offensive lineman Drew Richmond, who chose Ole Miss over a laundry list of other high-profile scholarship offers.
Let the good times roll.
“A prospect that looks the part physically,” Chad Simmons, national recruiting analyst for Scout.com, said of Richmond. “Has the frame you look for and is likely a right tackle on the next level.
“Better run blocker than he is in pass protection. Can lunge and lose balance at times. Shows good power, his reach is above average, and he can run the quicker ends outside. Has good bend and uses his body/frame to open holes. Needs to refine his technique, look to finish his blocks, and improve his feet in pass pro.”
Richmond, of Memphis (Tenn.) University School, is rated the No. 13 offensive tackle in the country by Scout.com and the No. 162 prospect overall.
His offer sheet is extensive, consisting of Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Clemson, Auburn and many, many more. Richmond made his announcement at a ceremony at his school Tuesday morning.
Ole Miss, Tennessee, Ohio State and Alabama were his finalists.
“I’ve got a great relationship with them,” Richmond said of Ole Miss, adding he keeps in close contact with current Rebels and former MUS teammates Ben Still, the Rebels’ starting center, and Gary Wunderlich, a kicker, as well as Ole Miss running back and fellow Memphian Jaylen Walton.
“It’s family over there to me.”
The addition of Richmond is a significant boost for the recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-5 1/2, 320-pound Richmond is the 10th commitment for Ole Miss, as well as its second-highest ranked recruit behind four-star tight end Willie Hibbler.
But perhaps more importantly, Richmond addresses a position of need.
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil, one of the top offensive linemen in all of college football and a likely candidate for early entry into the NFL Draft, will be a junior next season. Right tackles Fahn Cooper and Robert Conyers will be entering their senior and junior years, respectively, while Christian Morris, who was recently cleared to play by the NCAA, will be a sophomore.
Whatever the depth chart situation, Richmond is confident in his abilities, and Ole Miss could offer him an early opportunity. The Rebels, replacing two starters from last season, are currently tied for last in the SEC in sacks against and are last in the conference with 19 tackles for loss allowed.
“I believe in myself,” Richmond said in a previous interview with Scout.com. “Looking at depth charts and numbers of schools, I think I can go in there and play as a true freshman.”
MUS is 2-1 on the year following its 33-20 win over McKinley (Ohio) High School over the weekend. Last season, Richmond helped lead the Owls to the TSSAA Division II Class AA state championship, where they lost a close game with Ensworth.