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Ole Miss Football Transfer Portal Updates: Lane Kiffin’s 2024 transfer targets and commits; Walter Nolen and two Vols stars set to visit Oxford

Ole Miss Football Transfer Portal Updates: Lane Kiffin’s 2024 transfer targets and commits; Walter Nolen and two Vols stars set to visit Oxford

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss and head coach Lane Kiffin and staff continue to do well in the transfer portal with another committment coming Thursday from Oklahoma transfer defensive back Keyshawn “Key” Lawrence.

Ole Miss has already received a commit from the nation’s No. 1 JUCO wide receiver, Deion Smith, the nation’s No. 1 transfer linebacker, Chris Paul (Arkansas), as well as Ilinois transfer defensive back Taz Nicholson and Indiana transfer safety Louis Moore. 

This portal window remains open for this period until the end of the day on January 1, 2024.

The Rebel Walk is here to break down all of the possibilities and keep you posted on which players Ole Miss is looking at.

Keep up with the TRANSFER PORTAL TRACKER for the latest Ole Miss comings and goings!


Let’s break these transfer targets down by position, starting with one that is currently getting a lot of attention.

Defensive Linemen

Walter Nolen – A&M DL, Offered by Ole Miss, SET TO VISIT OLE MISS

Ole Miss could have a very special visitor soon as reports indicated the No. 1 overall player in the portal, defensive lineman Walter Nolen, will be in Oxford a visit either today or Friday

Nolen was the overall number two player in the country coming out of high school and is the number one player in the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining. NIL will, of course, play a factor in Nolen’s recruitment. Nolen, originally from Olive Branch, Mississippi, has been in contact with Pete Golding since he was a high school recruit.

Nolen has tallied 66 tackles (37 solos), five sacks and a forced fumble during two seasons at Texas A&M. This year, he increased his production with totals of 37 tackles and four sacks.

Nolen visited Oregon last weekend — and left without committing. 

If Ole Miss were able to land Nolen, you would likely see some sort of domino effect for the A&M players in the portal who were his former teammates. The importance of Walter’s decision is one that speaks for itself, and The Rebel Walk will keep you updated when any information breaks on Nolen.

Princely Umanmielen – Florida EDGE – UPDATE: Visited Ole Miss and all signs were positive from the visit

Umanmielen, a former four-star prospect from Manor (Texas) High School, appeared in 45 games for the Gators, making 24 starts. He led Florida in sacks, quarterback hurries and tackles for loss in 2023 and was rewarded with being named All-SEC Second Team honors. He started 12 games this past season, tallying a career-high tackles for loss (11.5), sacks (7) and quarterback hurries (17). He also tied a career-high of 39 tackles. 

Pro Football Focus graded Umanmielen as the Gators’ top defensive player this season, and he leaves Gainesville with 98 tackles, 15 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles.

Tyler Baron – Tennessee EDGE – VISITING OLE MISS DECEMBER 14

Tyler Baron is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior EDGE from the Vols. He is visiting Ole Miss today (Thursday, December 14). Baron recorded six sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss and 28 total tackles this past season. He is physical with size and speed and would create problems for opposing offenses. The Knoxville native will have one year of eligibility remaining.

Marley Cook – MTSU Defensive Lineman, OFFERED by Ole Miss, taking a visit to Miami this weekend

Cook enters the portal as a grad-transfer who just finished his redshirt-junior season. The 6-2, 298-pound defensive lineman, a Water Valley, Miss. native, started for the last two seasons for the Blue Raiders. He’s been a part of the MTSU program since 2019, where he signed as a two-star prospect out of the Magnolia State.

He was originally scheduled to visit Ohio State this weekend, but he canceled and will instead make a trip down to visit the Hurricanes. 

In his last 25 starts, he tallied 7.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He was named to the First Team PFF College All-CUSA team for his in 2022. He served as a team captain for the 2023 season.

Samuel Okunlola – Pittsburgh EDGE, offered by Ole Miss

The edge rusher out of Pittsburgh will be one of several highly-coveted players in the portal and the Rebels have extended an offer. In addition to the Rebels, Florida State, Colorado, Michigan State, Cal and Missouri have also offered.

Okunlola is 6’4 and collected five sacks, the most on the team, for Pitt this season. The Brockton, MA native is also related to Samson Okunlola, who is an offensive lineman for Miami. Due to that relationship, Miami will have a clear head start in his recruitment if they choose to engage. Regardless of that, though, the experience and potential that Okunlola could bring to defensive line coach Randall Joyner’s make him one that will definitely be pursued by the Rebs.

Defensive backs

KeShawn ‘Key’ Lawrence – Oklahoma Safety (Visited Ole Miss Dec. 5, COMMITTED TO OLE MISS ON DECEMBER 14!

Ole Miss offered KeShawn ‘Key’ Lawrence, a 6-foot-1, 206-pound transfer safety from Oklahoma, and he committed to the Rebels on Thursday, December 14. 

Lawrence started six games for the Sooners this season, and will have one year of eligibility remaining.

The Nashville native tallied 44 tackles in 2023 with two INTs, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. Over the 2021 and 2022 seasons,  played in 24 games. He notched 105 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, one interception, seven pass break-ups and five forced fumbles. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in 2021.

Tamarion McDonald – Tennessee safety VISITING OLE MISS DECEMBER 14

In addition to Tennessee teammate Tyler Baron, safety Tamarion McDonald is also visiting Ole Miss. McDonald is originally from Memphis, and is a 6-foot-2 player who is extremely versatile, something Rebels’ DC Pete Golding values a lot. He can play both defensive back and safety, which he would likely do if he plays for Ole Miss.

In 2023, McDonald recorded 40 tackles with four pass deflections, one sack, and one interception.

Andrew Mukuba – Clemson safety, offered by Ole Miss – Set to Visit Texas this weekend

The junior from Clemson announced that he would be entering the transfer portal earlier on Tuesday after racking up the most tackles in the entire Tiger secondary this past season. Mukuba surprisingly did not notch an interception but did deflect six passes.

Mukuba has quickly become one of the most sought-after players in the portal. Reports indicate he will take a visit to the Texas Longhorns this weekend in Austin.

The 6’0, 195-pound Mukuba would play a crucial leadership role in next year’s secondary and would be a fantastic addition for the defense.

William Lee lll – Kansas State CB, offered by Ole Miss – COMMITTED TO A&M

Lee is a player transferring out of Kansas State who can do a little bit of everything at the corner position. The St. Louis, Missouri native led the corners on his team with 32 total tackles while deflecting six passes, forcing a fumble, and collecting two interceptions. Lee is 6’3, provides length, and is light on his feet. He committed to A&M new head coach Mike Elko four days ago.

Tahveon ‘Taz’ Nicholson – Illinois CB, COMMITTED to OLE MISS

Saturday afternoon, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and Pete Golding received the second of their defensive transfer portal commitments after DB Tahveon “Taz” Nicholson announced his intent to transfer from the University of Illinois to Ole Miss.

Nicholson is the No. 4-ranked cornerback prospect according to On3’s NCAA Transfer Portal player rankings. Nicholson, a junior, has spent his entire college career in an Illini uniform, including this past season, where he recorded 36 total tackles, six pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. The Jacksonville, Florida native recorded 66 tackles throughout his career at Illinois. 

During his time at Illinois, Taz was a two-time All-Academic Big 10 recipient as well as the team’s Howard Griffith Impact Player in 2022.

Brandon Turnage – Tennessee CB, OFFERED by Ole Miss

Turnage is a 6-foot-1, 186-pound redshirt senior cornerback. He formerly played at Alabama before transferring to Tennessee in 2021. During the 2023 season, he had 6 tackles and 1 pass deflection.

He will have one season of eligibility remaining. 

Corey Thornton – UCF CB, Offered by Ole Miss

Thornton officially entered the portal last Tuesday after being a four-year starter at UCF while finishing this past season as the highest-graded defender, according to PFF. The Rebels have offered the talented CB. 

The veteran corner notched 27 tackles and three interceptions. His presence and experience are something that would greatly benefit Pete Golding and this defense in 2024 as the Rebels will be losing their two senior starting CBS in Deantre Prince and Zamari Walton at the end of the season.

Offensive linemen

Fernando Carmona Jr. – San José State OT, offered by Ole Miss, visiting Auburn Friday

Carmona announced on Monday that he would be leaving San Jose State in search of a new home with two years of eligibility remaining. The offensive tackle has received offers from Ole Miss, South Carolina, Auburn, Texas Tech, and more. He will be visiting Auburn this Friday, December 15.

The Las Vegas native presents a strong frame at 6’5 and a little over 300 pounds. Carmona has offers from South Carolina, Texas Tech, Pittsburgh, Auburn, Virginia Tech and Arizona State.

Davion Carter – Memphis OL

The 6-2, 290-pound Carter started 25 games during his career at Memphis, starting for all 12 games during the 2023 season. In the 2023 season, Carter only gave up one sack and seven quarterback hurries.

Chase Bisontis – Texas A&M OL

Bisontis is the No. 10 overall player to hit the portal and the top-ranked interior offensive lineman to do so, according to On3. For the Aggies, he started all 12 games as a freshman at Texas A&M. Sources say Bisontis has heard from 26 schools already. He played high school football at Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) High School, where he was a four-star prospect.

Gerquan Scott – Southern Miss OL,  COMMITTED TO OLE MISS

Southern Miss offensive lineman Gerquan Scott committed to Ole Miss earlier this week. He is from Mobile, Alabama, and was a three-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. After redshirting in 2019, he started 40 straight games with 32 at left guard, four at right guard and two at center.

Carter Smith – Indiana OT – Returning to Indiana

The 6’5, 300-pound offensive tackle was a redshirt freshman this season, where he took on a much larger role for the Hoosiers. The Powell, Ohio native gained experience against teams like Michigan, Ohio State, Louisville, and Penn State. After taking a visit to Ole Miss and to Florida State, he announced he is returning to Indiana.


Sam Brumfield – MTSU (Visited Ole Miss, OFFERED by Ole Miss, visiting Virginia Tech Friday.

Brumfield, a Pearl, Miss. native, started 10 games this season for the Blue Raiders and recorded a team-high 82 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles this season. He had a season-high 13 tackles against Murray State on Sept. 16.

The 5-foot-11, 226-pound Brumfield attended Northwest Mississippi Community College prior to signing with MTU. He led NMCC with 115 tackles during the 2022 season while also notching 13 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 5 hurries and 2 forced fumbles. He was one of three junior college players in the nation to record 100 or more tackles.

He is set to visit Virginia Tech this Friday, December 15.

 Chris “Pooh” Paul, Jr. – Arkansas LB – Committed to Ole Miss on December 8

Paul is a linebacker from Arkansas, where he collected the second-most tackles (74) on the team for the Razorbacks in 2023. He committed to Ole Miss last Friday, December 8.  The sophomore, a Cordele, Georgia native, will be expected to help fill the absence left with the departure of Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, Monty Montgomery, and Ashanti Cistrunk. Even with SEC experience, watching Pete Golding develop Paul into an even better player could be a lot of fun for Ole Miss fans.

Wide receivers 

Ja’Mori Maclin – WR North Texas – Committed to Kentucky

In 2023, Maclin notched 57 receptions for 1,004 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 17.6 yards per reception and was one of the most explosive players in the country. He committed to Kentucky on December 13.

As a freshman in 2022, he earned a spot on C-USA’s All-Freshman Team after tallying 16 catches for 380 yards and two TDs. Before the 2022 season, he spent two seasons at Missouri. He played three games in 2020 and missed the 2021 season with an injury.

Will Sheppard – Vanderbilt WR – offered by Ole Miss

The Vanderbilt wide receiver has done nothing but show his productivity since he joined the Commodores in 2020.

USC offered Sheppard this week on Monday. The high-profile receiver has offers from Miami, Colorado, Tulane, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Minnesota and Auburn, to name a few.

Sheppard will be a fifth-year senior next season. The Mandeville, Louisiana native has not had a chance to play with a quarterback as efficient as Jaxson Dart; however, he has still put up over 650 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons. In a Lane Kiffin offense, the 6’3, 200-pound Sheppard would become one of the most reliable and consistent players on the field. Between his recent offers from Texas A&M, Tulane, Mississippi State, and South Carolina, the wide receiver will have a chance to take his game to the next level in 2024.

Antwane ‘Juice’ Wells, Jr. – South Carolina WR – offered and visited Ole Miss

The South Carolina wide receiver announced his intent to enter the transfer portal and many schools began to pursue him. Wells will be a graduate transfer who has two years of eligibility remaining. The Highland Springs, Virginia native suffered a foot injury earlier this season against Georgia and has not played since. The 6’1, 210-pound Wells was named preseason All-SEC after a junior campaign where he tallied 68 catches for 929 yards and six TDs and was named first-team All-SEC. 

Stay tuned to more transfer portal and recruiting news! 

Zach Moreth

Zach Moreth

Zach is a freshman at Ole Miss and is studying Sports Administration. Outside of watching and playing sports, he enjoys spending time with his loved ones and being active. I’m excited to help cover our amazing Ole Miss sports teams!

About The Author

Zach Moreth

Zach is a freshman at Ole Miss and is studying Sports Administration. Outside of watching and playing sports, he enjoys spending time with his loved ones and being active. I'm excited to help cover our amazing Ole Miss sports teams!

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