Ole Miss is in a good position to close the receiver class strong

Ole Miss wide receiver coach Grant Heard has inarguably one of the top, and deepest, groups of receivers in the SEC. He would like to keep it that way after the 2017 signing period.

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Ole Miss graduates two receivers after the 2016 season in Quincy Adeboyejo and Derrick Jones. That leaves Ole Miss with at least two holes to fill.

"I want to sign as many as coach Freeze allows me to take," coach Heard said laughingly to the question. "Really, we will probably take two, maybe three. Hopefully we can get get the kids we want that are good fits for our program."

What is the biggest needs for the class, slot or outside guys?

"I don't just try and get a guy for a slot position. I try and go for a good receiver that can play both. If you have seen Quincy and watched Laquon Treadwell. I think Van Jefferson as he gets older will be able to play both. As you move them around it gives you more options."

Each recruiting season the Rebels ink guys that are in the 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4 range. Is that by design?

"I'm not scared to go after a smaller slot type guy. There are some things that do worry me though about taking the smaller receivers with what they can do because of their size. We have just been blessed to have big guys who are interested in coming. It's just worked out that way. We didn't say we just had to get big..big..receivers, but we have been able to get big guys who are super athletic. Hopefully we can keep doing it."

The Rebels brought in the No. 1 receiver class in the class of 2016. The headliner was A.J. Brown.

"He's a big strong..strong kid that has great ball skills. He's still feeling his way through a little bit but I think at the end of the day he's going to be special for us. He's what I thought he was when I recruited him, and I'm more excited about what he can become more than anything. A.J. has a really bright future for us."

D.K. Metcalf was also a top 100 national recruit that inked with coach Heard.

"D.K. is a long rangy and is faster than what he looks. He's such a long strider but he can run. He's more physical than I thought, especially route running wise. He's also more polished probably than I thought he would be. Especially being that big. He can drop his hips and get in and out of cuts. He's not scared to go after people to. D.K. is an excellent blocker and loves to mix it up. Like A.J., he's going to be a special player in our offense."

The cherry on top for the 2016 receiver group came from top 150 national prospect Tre Nixon.

"Tre is the thinker. He wants to get it right. Once it slows down for him I think he's going to be fine because he can run. He's just thinking too much right now. He just has to cut it loose and just go. But I'll say this, each day in practice you can see he's thinking less and less. It's only a matter of time before he cuts it loose for good. Tre is another guy who I think is going to be a key member of our offense for years to come."

Ole Miss has brought in some special receiver classes during the Freeze era but this one could be the best yet.

"In my mind it is. Everybody else might not think so but these three can be really ..really..special here. We have the deepest group of receivers we have had here at Ole Miss as a player or coach, but all three of those guys will have their chances to become big time players here at Ole Miss."

Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com

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