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Rebels add top recruits Matthews, Jones to 2016 class

Rebels add top recruits Matthews, Jones to 2016 class

Coach Hugh Freeze and his Ole Miss Rebels are on a roll recently, adding two more top recruits to their 2016 class in offensive tackle Bryce Mathews and cornerback Jaylon Jones. The Rebels’ class is now ranked No. 6 in the nation by 247Sports Composite. Hotty Toddy!

Offensive tackle Bryce Mathews

Ole Miss snagged another piece to its offense for 2016 in Brentwood Academy standout offensive tackle Bryce Mathews who committed to the Rebels via Twitter last Friday.

As Barton Simmons of 247Sports reports, Mathews gave his pledge to Ole Miss stating: “I decided I’m going to Ole Miss. The first time I went there, I was really drawn by what the coaches were saying. I felt a great connection with the coaches. I loved the town. It’s a great town with the square. I felt like a lot of signs were pointing me there.”

Ole Miss added offensive lineman Bryce Mathews to its 2016 recruiting class. (Photo credit: Bryce Mathews' Twitter)

Ole Miss added offensive lineman Bryce Mathews to its 2016 recruiting class. (Photo credit: Bryce Mathews’ Twitter)

Another key piece in Mathews’ decision was the news that two of his closest friends, Jack Propst and Dawson Knox, were going to be walk-ons at Ole Miss. Knox is a walk-on this year as a quarterback and Propst will walk-on next season as the Rebels long snapper. When Mathews last came to Oxford, he had a chance to spend time with freshman offensive tackle Alex Givens, who is roommates with Knox.

“He’s been really good,” Mathews said about Givens. “He didn’t pressure me but he told me that I always had a place to stay when I visited and that they’d really love to have me there.”

The 247Sports Composite Rankings have Mathews ranked as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 3 player in the state of Tennessee. The 6-foot-5.5, 280-pound Mathews is a prototypical offensive tackle in terms of size, length and fundamentals. He is the fourth offensive line commitment for Ole Miss in its 2016 class, joining Georgia products Chandler Tuitt, Jack DeFoor and Lafayette’s Eli Johnson.

Cornerback Jaylon Jones

After an enjoying visit to the University of Mississippi, 4-star cornerback Jaylon Jones decided to commit to Ole Miss early Tuesday morning via Twitter.

Since July 21, head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff have picked up verbal commitments from 3-star offensive lineman Chandler Tuitt, 3-star running backs Jarrion Street and D’Vaughn Pennamon and 4-star offensive tackle Bryce Mathews.
Jones became the 18th player for Ole Miss’ 2016 class, which is currently No. 6 in the country.

Jones is No. 18 at his position and No. 30 overall according to 247Sports. The 5-foot-11, 182-pound defensive back narrowed his list down to six in June, including Ole Miss, Auburn, Ohio State, TCU, Texas A&M, and USC. Before committing to the Rebels, Jones made visits to Austin and Oxford.

4-star cornerback Jaylon Jones committed to the Rebels Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

4-star cornerback Jaylon Jones committed to the Rebels Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

As a junior last season, Jones recorded 117 tackles, three tackles for loss, five pass break-ups, one interception, and returned a kickoff for a score for the Allen Eagles. During his recruiting process, Jones indicated he wanted to pick a school where he has the best chance to play professional football.

“I’ve kind of always looked at Ole Miss,” Jones told the Clarion-Ledger. “A&M was the only Texas school in the SEC, but when it came down to it Ole Miss is a better defensive program and they send more guys to the league defensively.”

Last season, Ole Miss finished with the nation’s top defense, allowing only 13.8 points per game and the Rebels were tied for fifth with 22 interceptions.

With his big announcement out of the way, Jones is now pushing for other top prospects to join him in Oxford prior to the 2016-17 season. Jones is currently teammates with five-star offensive tackle Greg Little, who recently backed out of his commitment to Texas A&M. Both Jones and Little are participating in Nike Football’s The Opening and were teammates on Team Hyper Cool.

Jones joins three-star safety Greg Eisworth as the only two defensive back commits for Ole Miss heading into next year.
“I told the coaches after I commit, I’m helping them out now,” Jones said. “I’m trying to recruit for them. I’m going to be in Greg’s ear.”

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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