Ole Miss football certainly didn’t have a case of the Mondays.
The Rebels hit the ground running with a commitment from four-star wide receiver Tre Nixon earlier in the day. Four-star Royce Newman followed later, the 6-foot-7, 268-pound offensive lineman flipping from Missouri.
Newman, who has starred as an offensive tackle/tight end for Nashville High School in Nashville, Ill., became the 22nd commitment for the class of 2016. Ole Miss now has the No. 4 ranked recruiting class in the nation according to Scout.com, trailing only LSU, Ohio State and Michigan.
“They just think he's a heck of an athlete that can excel in their program,” Nashville head coach Tim Kuhn said. “(Ole Miss offensive line) coach (Matt) Luke said he likes to build them up rather than tear them down. They rely on a lot of spacing in their offense, and they're looking for guys who can really move their feet and play in space. That's his game.”
Newman is rated as the No. 179 overall prospect in the country by Scout.com and the No. 14 offensive tackle. He had been committed to Missouri since June. However, following the resignation of Tiger head coach Gary Pinkel, Newman renewed his interest in other schools.
He held additional offers from, among others, Georgia, Nebraska, Penn State, Illinois and NC State.
“I think that has a lot to do with this,” Kuhn said of the coaching change and its impact on Newman. “They don't have their offensive line and offensive coordinator there anymore. He was close to those guys.
“(Luke) is real energetic and brings a lot of passion to the game. Royce is the same way. They really are like two peas in a pod. They have a real good relationship. I believe their family also feels really good about what is in store for Royce at Ole Miss.”