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Transfer Portal Updates: Do the Rebels have a shot at Walter Nolen? Here are updates on some of Lane Kiffin’s top Ole Miss portal targets

Transfer Portal Updates: Do the Rebels have a shot at Walter Nolen? Here are updates on some of Lane Kiffin’s top Ole Miss portal targets

OXFORD, Miss. — It is day four of the transfer portal window being open, and things are continuing to heat up for the Rebs as more offers are sent out and Coach Kiffin and staff are hot on the recruiting trail.

Ole Miss has already received the commitment of the nation’s No. 1-ranked JUCO wide receiver, Deion Smith. The Rebels are expected to be active in the portal, which 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.

Check out the TRANSFER PORTAL TRACKER for the latest Ole Miss comings and goings!

December 7, 2023 UPDATES

Walter Nolen – A&M DL

Debatably the most substantial news of the week came yesterday when Texas A&M defensive lineman Walter Nolen officially entered the transfer portal. Nolen was the 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.

A senior recruiting analyst for On3, Gerry Hamilton, reported Wednesday that folks should keep an eye on Ole Miss and Oregon for Nolen, but we know Nolen will be heavily recruited by all the nation’s top teams.

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.

Jermod McCoy – Oregon State CB

The Oregon State cornerback received an offer from Ole Miss earlier this morning. McCoy was a freshman last season and led the Beavers in pass deflections and was tied for the lead in interceptions. This is a player who can be at Ole Miss for several years and start to take the next step into becoming an all-conference type player. McCoy’s talents are no secret, as he has also received offers from Washington, Oregon, Auburn, TCU, A&M, and more.

Corey Thornton – UCF CB

Thornton officially entered the portal on Tuesday after being a four-year starter at UCF while finishing this past season as the highest-graded defender, according to PFF. 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.

Carter Smith – Indiana OT (Scheduled to visit Ole Miss this weekend)

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, making him the perfect candidate for offensive line coach John Garrison’s unit. Smith could be used as both a starter or depth pie,ce, with three years of eligibility remaining.

 Chris “Pooh” Paul, Jr. – Arkansas LB (Scheduled to visit Ole Miss this weekend)

Paul is a linebacker from Arkansas, where he collected the second-most tackles (74) on the team for the Razorbacks in 2023. The sophomore, a Cordele, Georgia native, would 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.

Note: Oklahoma offered Paul Jr. on December 7.

Fernando Carmona Jr. – San José State OT

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. The Las Vegas native presents a strong frame at 6’5 and a little over 300 pounds, similarly to Carter Smith (Indiana), in whom the Rebels also have an interest. Carmona has offers from South Carolina, Texas Tech, Pittsburgh, Auburn, Virginia Tech and Arizona State.

William Lee lll – Kansas State CB

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. Other than from the Rebs, Will has heard from Auburn, Florida, and Washington. Keep an eye out for this one to see if Pete Golding can add a key piece to his secondary.

Samuel Okunlola – Pittsburgh EDGE

The edge rusher out of Pittsburgh will be one of several highly-coveted players in the portal and the Rebels have extended an offer. 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.

KeShawn ‘Key’ Lawrence – Oklahoma Safety (Visited Ole Miss Dec. 5)

Ole Miss has offered KeShawn ‘Key’ Lawrence, a 6-foot-1, 206-pound transfer safety from Oklahoma. 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.

Will Sheppard – Vanderbilt WR

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

Andrew Mukuba – Clemson safety

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. As far as we know, Mukuba has only announced offers from Ole Miss and Oregon so far, which hopefully is a good thing for the Rebs. 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.

Antwane ‘Juice’ Wells, Jr. – South Carolina WR

The South Carolina wide receiver announced Sunday night his intent to enter the transfer portal. 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. 

December 7 Update: Reports suggest that Tennessee and Texas have emerged as top schools in the recruitment of South Carolina transfer Juice Wells, according to multiple sources. In the last 24 hours, Oregon and Ole Miss have also made a strong push.


At least two key transfer prospects will be visiting Oxford over the December 8 weekend as Carter Smith from Indiana and Chris Paul Jr. from Arkansas look to take a trip to God’s Country. On Tuesday, Keyshawn “Key” Lawrence, the safety from Oklahoma, visited Ole Miss.

Stay tuned!

Stay tuned to The Rebel Walk for all of the transfer portal content you will need. Check out our TRANSFER PORTAL TRACKER where you can keep updated on who has officially entered the portal from Ole Miss and who has officially announced their transfer to the Rebels. Until then, Hotty Toddy!

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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