Hugh Freeze with Denzel Nkemdiche
The Ole Miss Rebels sent shockwaves across the college football world on national signing day (NSD), as head coach Hugh Freeze landed the Rebels four 5-star recruits.
That's right, the 7-6 BBVA Compass Bowl champion Ole Miss Rebels from 2012 inked one of the nation's best recruiting classes for 2013. You may now pick your jaw up off the floor.
Already heading into NSD with the No. 12 ranked class led by the No. 1 wide receiver in the nation (5-star Laquon Treadwell), Hugh Freeze instantly became the hottest name in college football recruiting circles by signing three more 5-star recruits on NSD.
Freeze and staff likely considered it a sign of good things to come when the nation's undisputed No. 1 high school player, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, donned an Ole Miss hat to lead off ESPNU's NSD coverage in the early morning hours. Robert Nkemdiche had been thought by many to favor Ole Miss for quite a while, as his older brother, linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, is the heartbeat of the Rebels' "landshark" defense.
Simply signing Robert Nkemdiche would have been monumental for the Ole Miss program, but Hugh Freeze had much more in mind for the Rebels on NSD.
About two hours after the nation's top recruit, Nkemdiche, chose Ole Miss, the Rebels hauled in another outstanding recruit. The No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 7 overall prospect in the land, Laremy Tunsil, announced to the world that he was signing with Ole Miss. Long a Georgia verbal commitment, Tunsil must have really believed in what Freeze and company had to say about the direction of the Ole Miss program.
Ole Miss fans must have been dreaming, as the Rebels had signed two of the nation's top seven overall recruits only two hours into NSD. However, the day would only get better for the Rebels faithful.
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Shortly after Tunsil signed with Ole Miss, the Rebels defense added another 5-star recruit. Just 20 miles away from Oxford in Batesville, MS, the No. 3 safety and No. 31 overall prospect in America (Antonio Conner) chose the Rebels over Alabama and Mississippi State. That's right, Conner went with Ole Miss over the back-to-back college football champion Alabama Crimson Tide.
In the end, Ole Miss hauled in four 5-star recruits on national signing day. It is simply amazing.
While these four 5-star recruits (Nkemdiche, Tunsil, Conner and Treadwell) are the faces of Ole Miss' amazing recruiting class, the 2013 Rebel signing class also contained two 4-star quarterbacks (Devante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan), three 4-star running backs (Mark Dodson Jr., Kailo Moore and Jordan Wilkins), a 4-star tight end (Christian Morgan) and a 4-star defensive tackle (Lavon Hooks).
Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels are no one-hit recruiting wonder, folks. The day of February 6, 2013 will forever be known around college football circles as the day Hugh Freeze began to put the Ole Miss Rebels back in the national spotlight. The dynamic 2013 recruiting class is the first of many great classes Ole Miss can expect under the leadership of Freeze. It's a good time to be an Ole Miss Rebel.