For the first time in NCAA history, football recruits can sign their National Letter of Intent (NLI) early, and on the first day of the early signing period, the Rebels scored big with 15 signees.
OXFORD, Miss. – Starting Wednesday morning, recruits could sign their National Letter of Intent. Players have from December 20th-December 22nd to sign during this period; otherwise, they will have to wait until February 7th, 2018.
This is the first time that the NCAA has allowed players to sign before the traditional National Signing Day.
With many verbal commits already pledged, head coach Matt Luke and his staff prepared for today’s signings in hopes of securing the coveted faxes from their targeted players. They started the morning with the 60th best recruiting class according to 247Sports.com, but after a huge day that included a few unexpected signings, the Rebels are sitting pretty with the 35th best class in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Click here for more info on all the Rebels’ signees.
Though Coach Luke just had the interim tag removed following the Egg Bowl just weeks ago, he and his staff did great work in a short amount of time. At his press conference today, he was obviously pleased with the players he and his staff have brought in.
“We did a really tremendous job of getting on the road after the Egg Bowl and making up ground,” Luke said. “I really appreciate the trust of these families. A lot of really good relationships were forged.”
With 15 signees today, Ole Miss is confident about the direction of this year’s class. Amid NCAA punishments, most counted the Rebels out of the race for many key recruits. However, today, Matt Luke showed those doubters that he’s not going to lay down this season.
Here are the signees from today. They are all 3-star or better and rated 83.5 or better according to 247Sports.com’s rankings.
- Matt Corral – Pro Style QB from Long Beach, CA 4-star, 96.89.
- Corral was committed to Florida until last Thursday, when he flipped to the Rebels.
- 3rd best QB in the 2018 class.
- Elijah Moore – WR from Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-star, 92.23.
- Moore was committed to Georgia coming into today, however he signed with the Rebels this morning, making headlines.
- James Williams – SDE from Jackson, MS 3-star, 88.17.
- Williams entered today committed to Mississippi State. He flipped to the Rebels, after being committed to the Bulldogs since October.
- Demarcus Gregory – WR from Duncan, SC 3-star, 87.91.
- Jalen Cunningham – DT from Odenville, AL 3-star, 87.49.
- Scottie Phillips – RB from Ellisville, MS 3-star, 87.19.
- Phillips is rated as the best JUCO RB, coming from Jones County J.C.
- Jacquez Jones – OLB from Tuscaloosa, AL 3-star, 86.43.
- Cameron White – S from Madison, MS 3-star, 85.93.
- Hal Northern – DT from Senatobia, MS 3-star, 85.06.
- Vernon Dasher – OLB from Coffeyville, KS 3-star, 84.67.
- Quentin Bivens – DT from Waynesboro, MS 3-star, 84.39.
- Ka’Darian Hill – DT from Eufaula, AL 3-star 84.26.
- Keidron Smith – CB from West Palm Beach, FL 3-star, 84.26.
- Jonathon Hess – OLB from Birmingham, AL 3-star, 83.56.
- Isaiah Woullard – RB from Hattiesburg, MS
The Rebels still have verbal commits from the following players:
- Deuntra Hyman – WDE from Meridian, MS. 3-star, 87.63.
- JaKorey Hawkins – CB from Montgomery, AL. 3-star, 84.90.
Coach Luke’s top targets include:
- Harold Joiner – RB from Birmingham, AL. 4-star, 94.65.
- Tank Jenkins – OG from Montgomery, AL. 4-star, 89.86.
- Christopher Oats – OLB from Cincinnati, OH. 4-star, 89.73.
- Marquez Ezzard – ATH from Stockbridge, GA. 4-star, 89.57.
- Noah Jefferson – DT from Yuma, AZ. 3-star, 88.92.
- Glenn Beal – TE from New Orleans, 3-star, 86.89.
Many had written off the Rebels after the NCAA handed down its sanctions, including an additional year bowl ban; however, Matt Luke and his staff aren’t going down that easily.
The Rebels top three signees were all commits who flipped to Ole Miss within the last week, proving recruits believe there are still many positive reasons to attend the school. If Coach Luke can continue to inspire recruits and show them what Ole Miss football has to offer, Rebel fans will be very happy on February 7th.
For now, Coach Luke said it best in his press conference this afternoon:
“I thought today was a really, really good day.“