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Early Signing Day: New Faces Coming to Oxford as Coach Kiffin, Rebels Sign Top 25 Class

Early Signing Day: New Faces Coming to Oxford as Coach Kiffin, Rebels Sign Top 25 Class

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels finished Early Signing Day for the class of 2022 recruits with a Top 25 group Wednesday, signing 16 players.

Four of the signees will early enroll in January. Thus far, the class ranks No. 24 in the country, and of the 16 signees, five hold a 4-star ranking. 

(Click here for a detailed look at the Ole Miss signees.)

Ole Miss will now turn its attention to the transfer portal, where the Rebels look to sign a large number of players between now and next season.

“We were very picky. I think we had high standards. Didn’t reach, and I’m excited about the guys that came,” Coach Kiffin said Wednesday afternoon.

With transfers and portal guys, that will be ongoing for a while, all the way through when we start school in January because they don’t sign NILs again. So I would anticipate a lot of movement and signings there, which is why, by design this, is a small class compared to the amount of scholarships we have available.

Lane Kiffin on signees after Early Signing Day

Offense

The Rebels signed eight players on the offensive side of the ball. On the offensive line, Ole Miss brings in three guys who possess elite size. Three-star Flip Carswell, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound tackle from Tennille, Georgia, 3-star Preston Cushman, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound center from St. Petersburg, Florida, and 3-star Cam East, a 6-foot-7, 280-pound tackle from Marrero, Louisiana. On Thursday, the Rebels added another standout lineman in Bryson Hurst, a four-star from Gautier, Mississippi. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Hurst is ranked the No. 6 player in the state of MS for the 2022 class. 

At the receiver position, the Rebs add two in-state players with 4-star Jeremiah Dillon, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound wideout from Tylertown, Miss. and 3-star Larry Simmons, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound wideout from Moss Point.

At tight end there will be one new face, 3-star Kyirin Heath, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound tight end from Mansfield, Texas.

At running back, Ole Miss signed one of the most talented, yet underrated, players in the class in 3-star Quinshon Judkins. The Pike Road, Alabama native is a 5-foot-11, 200-pound tailback.

Defense

Ole Miss really shored up the defensive side of the ball, as there will be a number of talented new faces joining the school of Landsharks.

Four-star Zxavian Harris is the only defensive lineman of the bunch. He is a 6-foot-7, 335-pounder from Madison, MS.

At linebacker, 3-star Tyler Banks is 6-foot-3, 235-pounds from Blackstone, VA. The Rebels also signed 3-star, 6-foot-2, 230-pound JUCO transfer Reginald Hughes from Tunica, MS.

On the back end of the defense, the Rebels snagged a 4-star cornerback in 5-foot-11, 175-pound Nick Cull from Donalsonville, GA. They also added 4-star safety Taylor Groves, a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder from Cross Plains, Texas, 3-star corner Jarell Stinson, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound corner from Opelika, Alabama, and a transfer in Ladarius Tennison from Auburn, a former 4-star DB. 

Specialty

Two defensive players in the class will be likely utilized in more than one way.

3-star Jaylon White, who played safety in high school, is 6-foot-4, 205-pounder who has been rated by recruiting sites at the linebacker position.

The Rebels picked up a huge commit from 4-star Jaron Willis, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder who also played safety in high school but is rated by recruiting sites as a linebacker and tabbed an athlete by Ole Miss.

We like to call these type of players a “slasher”  — much like current Rebel Jake Springer.

Special Teams

JUCO transfer Fraser Masin is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound punter from Brisbane, Australia.

Early Enrollees

As mentioned earlier, the Rebels will welcome four of Wednesday’s signees at the start of the spring semester in January: JUCO transfer LB Reginald Hughes and P Fraser Masin, along with high school signees RB Quinshon Judkins and DB Jarell Stinson.

Just getting started…

Coach Kiffin explained at Wednesday’s press conference that he is not looking to necessarily shore up one particular position — but is looking to find the best 85 players he can by fall.

“More than ever we look at the best players and just getting our 85 to be the best that we can and build on that,” Kiffin said.

So that’s an ongoing process of trying to find the best players. If I have this many at this position, but then you don’t feel good about these guys playing because they are not good enough, we’d much rather have the best players, so we’ll continue to do that instead of exact numbers.

Coach Kiffin on finishing out the class

While the recruiting continues in all forms and fashions, Ole Miss returns to bowl practice Thursday. The No. 8 Rebels will cap off the 2021 season against No. 7 Baylor in the 2022 Sugar Bowl, on Jan. 1, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Rebels are seeking their first 11-win season in program history.

The early signing period runs through Friday, December 17.

Here’s everything Coach Kiffin had to say at his Wednesday press conference:

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

About The Author

Nick Filipich

Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss senior majoring in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.

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