4-star linebacker Willie Gay chooses Ole Miss
Oops, Ole Miss did it again. For the second time in 2016, a Starkville High School blue-chip prospect has committed to play football for Hugh Freeze and the state’s flagship university. In February 4-star receiver A.J. Brown signed with Ole Miss and on Friday 4-star linebacker Willie Gay committed to do the same in February of 2017.
After stacking up offers from Florida, California, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Tennesse, Texas A&M and more more, Guy decided to focus on five. Those schools were Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Michigan, South Carolina and Alabama. In the end, it really came down to the hometown Bulldogs or the in-state Rebels.
As Freeze has so many times in head-to-head battles against Dan Mullen, he won.
Perhaps the need at linebacker is what put Ole Miss ahead, or maybe it was the relationship with his former teammate Brown. Either way, it appears the Starkville-to-Oxford pipeline is a real thing. Additionally, Ole Miss is quickly building a linebacker class that could wind up being one of the best in the country. Gay joins Riverdale, Louisiana, 4-star linebacker who committed on Monday. Something appeared to be cooking between the two once Clarke announced on Twitter last week that he would be making his decision. So it came as no surprise when he was one of the first to comment on the huge commitment for the Rebels.
Gay brings the 2017 commit total to nine for Ole Miss, with five guys, including two 4-stars, hailing from Mississippi. Freeze and company would surely love to add top Mississippi targets Cam Akers and C.J. Avery to the fold, as well. Also, the Rebels might still add another 4-star linebacker in the form of IMG’s Santino Marchiol or Nashville, Tennessee, native Jacob Phillips.
After recently stating that he was going to wait until late July or early August to make the call, Gay decided to end the process on Friday because it was just draining on him. Unlike Brown in the 2016 class, Gay will wear the Ole Miss badge of honor for quite a while in Oktibbeha County before reporting to Oxford.
For Ole Miss the early release is good news. It continues momentum that they had already generated this week with three commitments. It also furthers the confidence in fans, media pundits and recruits that the NOA and NCAA case is moving farther behind the program–and if getting beyond the bad publicity that came with that situation is priority number one for Ole Miss right now, they are doing a fantastic job!