Not even a day after after the Rebels defeated in-state rival Mississippi State, 31-17, in the annual Egg Bowl rivalry game, they received good news for their 2016 recruiting class, picking up a commitment from three-star tight Gabe Angel.
The 6-foot-3 1/2, 215-pound Angel is rated the No. 15 player at his position. He held additional offers from, among others, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Kentucky, North Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, as well as tight ends coach Maurice Harris, appeared to factor heavily into his decision.
“I like coach Freeze a lot,” Angel said in a previous interview with Scout.com. “I like how he carries himself and what type of person he is on and off the field. I can’t really explain it, but it feels different with coach Freeze and coach Harris. I’ve been building a relationship with those guys since the start of my 9th grade season. It’s just different.”
Angel, of Cookeville, Tenn., is the seventh recruit to pledge to Ole Miss for 2016, joining four Scout300 members in D.K. Metcalf, Justin Conner, Denzel Mitchell and Benito Jones, as well three-star prospects Daniel Crowell and Eli Johnson.
Ole Miss finished the regular season with a 9-3 record, including a 5-3 mark in Southeastern Conference games. Tight end Evan Engram was featured prominently in the offense, no more so than against Mississippi State.
He finished with five catches and a team-leading 176 yards. His 83-yard reception in the third quarter tied for the longest passing play in school history.
“I watched him a lot to see how I would fit in,” Angel said. “I think my abilities fit in well in that system. You’re able to move around and not just put your hand in the ground and become a blocker. You can move around in the backfield and catch the ball. I saw how they moved Evan around and that got me really interested.”
In his junior season, Angel led Cookeville to the 2015 TSSAA Class 6A state playoffs. The Cavaliers were eliminated in the first round by LaVerge, ending the year with an 8-3 record.
“I think my strengths are getting open and catching the ball,” Angel said. “I use my speed to get open, but they say I can see the field really well. I can find the open spots and get open, too.”