On Wednesday, Ole Miss football welcomed 25 new Rebels as the 2019 early signing period kicked off.
The first day of the 2019 early signing period began Wednesday as recruits all over the country inked their National Letters of Intent. Recruits have through Friday, December 21 to sign their NLI early, ahead of the traditional NCAA signing day which comes on February 6, 2019.
After the dust of Wednesday’s action settled, Ole Miss found itself with 25 new Rebels, placing head coach Matt Luke’s class 22nd nationally and 11th in the SEC.
Here is a look at the 2019 class of Ole Miss players.
Total Number of Signees: 25
Average Signee Rating: 87.47
Offensive Signees: 2 QB, 1 RB, 4 WR, 7 OL
Defensive Signees: 1 DE, 1 DT, 3 LB, 6 DB
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Here are the positions, hometowns, and 247Sports composite ranking of each signee:
Darius Thomas, OT (Jonnesboro, AR) – 90.7 composite
Sam Williams, DE (Northeast MS C.C.) – 90.0 composite
Grant Tisdale, QB (Allen, TX) – 88.9 composite
Jadon Jackson, WR (Centerton, AR) – 88.5 composite
Deantre Prince, ATH (Charleston, MS) – 88.5 composite
Nick Broeker, OT (Springfield, IL) – 87.7 composite
Patrick Lucas, DT (Wetumpka, AL) – 87.3 composite
Jonathan Haynes, S (Jones County J.C) – 87.3 composite
Dontario Drummond, WR (East Mississippi C.C.) – 86.9 composite
Jordan Jernigan, WR (Tupelo, MS) – 86.9 composite
Jeremy James, OT (Cumming, GA) – 86.8 composite
Reece McIntyre, OT (Buford, GA) – 86.6 composite
Ashanti Cistrunk, OLB (Louisville, MS) – 86.6 composite
Jamar Richardson, CB (Jones County J.C.) – 85.8 composite
A.J. Finley, S (Mobile, AL) – 85.6 composite
Carter Colquitt, OT (Buford, GA) – 85.5 composite
Jalen Jordan, CB (Lake Cormorant, MS) – 85.5 composi
Jarod Conner, RB (Hattiesburg, MS) – 85.5 composite
Jay Stanley, S (Brandon, MS) – 85.1 composite
Bryce Ramsey, OG (Gulfport, MS) – 84.9 composite
Caleb Warren, OT (Louisville, MS) – 84.8 composite
Kinkead Dent, QB (Jackson, MS) – 84.7 composite
Tavario Standifer, S (Tupelo, MS) – 84.3 composite
Eric Jeffries, OLB (Oxford, MS) – 83.7 composite
Reloading in 2019
Coach Luke and his staff filled some major holes with this 2019 class. Nasty Wide Outs A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and DaMarkus Lodge are all headed to the NFL, leaving big shoes to fill in the receiver room. These openings were addressed Wednesday with four signatures: Dannis Jackson, Jadon Jackson, Dontario Drummond, and Jordan Jernigan. The Rebels are hoping to add 4-star WR commit Jonathan Mingo to that group, likely in February.
Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu is gone, leaving the signal-caller job to Matt Corral. However, the Rebels added two more QBs to the mix Wednesday, with dual-threat QB Grant Tisdale and pro style QB Kinkead Dent. Both have great arms and will provide much-needed depth and competition.
OT Greg Little is off to the NFL, leaving a massive hole on the offensive line for the Rebels. Luckily, the Rebels landed seven offensive linemen on Wednesday.
Rebuilding the Defense
Size and strength have been an issue over the last few years for the Rebels, making Wednesday’s signees very important. JUCO DE Sam Williams signed on Wednesday with Ole Miss. Standing at 6’5″ and weighing 250 lbs., Williams will be a key player on this year’s defense. Next to him, one can expect to see Patrick Lucas, a 6’3″ 290-lb DT from Wetumpka, AL.
The Rebels signed three in-state linebackers Wednesday: Lafayette’s Eric Jeffries, Louisville’s Ashanti Cistrunk, and Tupelo’s Tavario Standifer. Luke noted the Rebels will push for another linebacker before fall begins.
“We have some young linebackers in MoMo Sanogo and Jacquez Jones–thats a good building block,” Luke said. “As we look forward to this February signing class, you can probably look for us to find a junior college linebacker or another guy who can step in there and compete with those guys,” he added.
In the secondary, the Rebels added six defensive backs. Jonathan Haynes, the 5th-best JUCO safety leads that group, along with Jamar Richardson, the 8th-best JUCO CB.
Although many were disappointed the Rebs did not sign Nakobe Dean or Brandon Turnage, the fact remains that Ole Miss fared well today when you put things in perspective and realize some significant spots have been addressed–with more to come in February.
Coming off two years of bowl bans, a seemingly endless NCAA investigation, a sub-.500 record in 2018, a vacancy at offensive coordinator and a newly filled defensive coordinator position, Ole Miss had a lot going against it heading into this early signing period. Yes, they lost some big in-state recruits, but when you look at the strength of the class they signed, tip your cap to the 25 players who signed today. It is likely the biggest day of their lives–and we congratulate them for choosing to become Ole Miss Rebels and help rebuild the program.