Lane Train keeps rolling as Ole Miss adds talented Class of 2022 players this week
OXFORD, Miss. — Prior to this week, it It might have appeared to the untrained eye that things were a little quiet in The ‘Sip on the recruiting front for the class of 2022. But that appearance of “silence” definitely did not mean the Rebs were sleeping.
In fact, it’s been a very good week for Ole Miss.
When I was attending Brown, I would hop on the train after my last class Friday to head into the city. I was by no means an expert on the routes — especially when we were catching the subway in NYC — but I picked up quickly from my friends who knew it like the back of their hand.
One night I arrived in NYC and met up with my friends from Columbia to go out. We took a cab and were dropped off at a seemingly desolate spot that was home to what appeared to be an abandoned building. Boy, was I in for a heck of surprise behind those doors! After a few knocks, (which I am pretty sure was a code to get in), I was let in and entered with excitement and anticipation…and a little fear, if I’m being honest.
But lo and behold, the lights went from end to end, the warehouse was packed with tons of people, the DJ was blaring, and it was a party like no other! We danced till the sun came up before we grabbed some food and I headed back to Providence.
I mention this story because, like that warehouse, there’s more going on behind the closed doors in the Manning Center than anyone could imagine. There’s something special occurring and the “Party in The ‘Sip” is going to be legendary.
Head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff are in a heck of a chess match right now for the nation’s most talented players, and you shouldn’t be surprised when they emerge victorious.
This week, the Rebels have welcomed Jalen Knox, a transfer from Missouri, as well as received a commitment from fellow Texas native Kyirin Heath. Then, last night’s surprise pledge from Zxavian Harris was announced. (Click here to read about Harris’ commit.)
The Ole Miss pipeline from the Lone Star State appears to be in full force as the Rebs picked up commits from Heath and Knox, both talented Texans.
Most folks outside of the state of Texas have never heard of a place called the Kow Bell Rodeo, but during the the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s every Saturday night the cowboys and cowgirls would flock to longtime-Mansfield resident William Hoggs’ joint. Well, eventually Mansfield ISD acquired the property and now there sits Mansfield Legacy High School, home of 3-star tight end commit Kyirin Heath.
The 6-foot-4-inch, 232-pound Heath is ranked the No. 56 tight end in the country according to 247Sports. Obviously Coach John David Baker, the Rebels’ passing game coordinator and tight ends coach liked what he saw from Heath at Ole Miss’ June 18 football camp. Following an offer from the Red and Blue, Heath committed on June 29.
On Tuesday, he took to Twitter and made his pledge known.
— Kyirin Heath (@Kyirin4) June 29, 2021
While Ole Miss was the only SEC offer Heath held, he had also received offers from Marshall, Colorado State, Liberty, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas State and Arkansas State.
David Johnson of Rebels247 says this under-the-radar athlete is one the staff is excited about:
“Do not let his rather light offer sheet fool you. There are prospects out there who have been lost in the wake of the COVID pandemic that shut down recruiting camps last year. I believe Heath is one of them. The Ole Miss staff was obviously very high on him after he came to Oxford and worked out. I am told the Rebels believe he is ‘a steal.’”
David Johnson on Kyirin Heath
Heath’s film and his camp performance leave no doubt he will bring quite a unique skillset to the Rebels at the tight end position. We all know just what Lebby and Kiffin can do with the offense and TE in the mix!
During his junior season, he had 19 receptions for 229 yards and 7 touchdowns for the Broncos.
Heath’s ‘Fit in the Sip’
He is a straight up playmaker who can put points on the board. He also brings physicality as he has the ability to shed opposing defenders and send them to the turf. He creates a lot of problems for defenses — and will fit right in with what is already one of the most exhilarating offenses in college football.
His frame will create a big mismatch for those trying to fend off his ability to catch and move with the ball. He is quick and has great hands which will come in handy in critical down and distances — especially in the red zone.
The Rebels picked up another Texas star in Mizzou wide receiver transfer Jalen Knox. He was added to the roster Tuesday after having entered the transfer portal June 4.
I’ve officially entered the transfer portal.
— Knox (@JalenKnox9) June 4, 2021
The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder is a rising senior; however, he will not be eligible this fall but will have two years left of eligibility in Oxford.
While with the Tigers, Knox played primarily at slot receiver. He caught 77 passes, including 31 for 305 yards in his nine games played in 2020. He also notched 95 yards and one TD on the ground.
His yardage as a freshman for the Tigers was the fourth-most ever in a season by any true freshman, and he was rewarded by earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors two times.
The Rebels are rebuilding after losing wide receiver Elijah Moore and tight end Kenny Yeboah to the draft, and Knox is an ideal slot candidate for the future.
Knox is a product of Mansfield Timberview High School. When he signed with Mizzou in December, 2017 he held multiple offers and was ranked the No. 29 overall ATH for 2018 and the No.61 overall player in the state of Texas.
Knox’ ‘Fit In The Sip’
Knox’ brings SEC experience, along with consistency, to the Rebels. Consistency is key — especially when you have an offense like Ole Miss’. The Rebs have depth at WR, but are looking to have consistent weapons to keep it rolling for four quarters.
Knox can also get after it up top and go deep, making catches and going head to head with the best defenders to get himself open.
With Zxavian Harris’ commit last night, that gives the Rebels six hard commits and one transfer for the 2022 class.
There are a lot of routes taken in recruiting, and sometimes when it seems things are quiet…..you open the door, walk in, and realize there’s a real Party in The ‘Sip that’s about to get started!
(Feature image credit: Amanda Swain)
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.