Willie Gay (Photo by Chad Simmons)

Prospects to keep an eye on

There are a handful of players Ole Miss fans should be keeping a close eye on this week in San Antonio for the Army All-American event. Who are they?

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There have been many up and downs for Ole Miss in their recruitment of the No. 1 linebacker on their board in Willie Gay. They offered the Starkville native first at the tender age of 14 and have always been the staff that Willie was closest to. The problem is that his main recruiter, Barney Farrar, is no longer at Ole Miss. When that news broke Gay opened his recruitment back up. The Top 100 recruit has already taken in his official visits to Michigan and Ole Miss. Mississippi State (1/14 is next but LSU is now in heavy pursuit after missing on one of their key linebacker targets. The Dogs have been trending but the Rebels are not giving up.

 

 

Cam Akers has been Ole Miss' No. 1 target at running back for the class of 2017 since his ninth grade season. Ole Miss put in their blood and guts to land the top 5 national prospect, regardless of position. That's why you could hear a pin drop in Oxford when the 215-pound tailback announced for the Seminoles over the Rebels Tuesday. There is probably a better chance of me becoming Ole Miss starting running back next fall, but we'll list him anyway. We know Cam has quite a following in this neck of the woods.

 

The 5-Star safety, Ja'len Parks, surprised many when he announced at the Army media center that he will most likely take an official visit to Ole Miss in January. He pointed out that he had a great relationship with newly hired defensive coordinator, Wesley McGriff, and that was a big part of him having Auburn out in front of the pack. Relationships usually win out but you would have to consider him a long shot not having any bonds with the rest of the Ole Miss staff until a month before singing day. Nevertheless, it is obvious how close the Florida native is to Crimedawg. You also have to like the fact that his top three; Auburn, Alabama, and Virginia Tech, are not located in the state of Florida. This one could get interesting if Parks ever hits the Oxford campus.

 

D.D. Bowie has been committed to Ole Miss since 2015. The Morton (Miss) native was Ole Miss' first commitment for the 2017 class. The top 100 recruit told us at the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star event that he will take other visits due to the lingering NCAA cloud at Ole Miss. In that group of visitors was Mississippi State (1/21). He relayed the same echoes in San Antonio when he met with the media. Some Ole Miss fans are surprised by the news but it's what he said early in December as well. This is classified as a "trend". Mississippi State could be trending right now, but sources still feel like in the end he will ink with the Rebels.

 

T.D. Slaton surprised many when he listed Ole Miss as one of the schools he will visit in January. But as Slaton said in the interview, he has liked Ole Miss since they started recruiting him as a sophomore. Michigan is considered the leader but the Gators are making a strong push for his commitment as well. Florida has already committed a pair of his teammates. Slayton has been coy about his leaders to this point. But it looks like the three schools we listed could have a leg up on the competition.

 

Deommodore Lenoir put out a tweet tweet to update his latest top schools. We don't know how much of a factor the Rebels are for the 5-Star defensive back. This week should let us know about where Ole Miss really stands with the California native.

 

Chuck Filiaga still has one more official visit left, but the Rebels seem to be losing ground with his recent interview. Michigan, Oklahoma and Nebraska lead. The Texan has one more official visit open. The Rebels have been trying to close that spot for months now.


DeVonta Smith out of Amite, LA., has already visited Ole Miss several times this past fall and summer. Things looked to have taken a turn for the worst when his recruiter for Ole Miss, Grant Heard, left to Indiana. The good news is that the coach who recruited him for LSU, Bradley-Dale Peveto, is now in Oxford. We'll see what kind of bump this gives the Rebels. LSU and Alabama are thought of as the leaders.


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


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