Freeze Hopes to Find Hidden Gems in Recruiting Class
Hugh Freeze's No. 5 Ole Miss Rebel recruiting class is loaded with too many 4-star and higher recruits to mention in a single article. Needless to say, this premiere group of players will be the ones garnering most of the national attention in Ole Miss' remarkable 2013 national signing day class.
However, Hugh Freeze signed 14 3-star recruits to round out his 2013 Ole Miss class (scout.com). As with recruiting classes at every school across the country, many top recruits struggle to meet expectations. On the other hand, many lesser-ranked recruits end up being hidden gems for coaching staffs in time.
With a robust group of 3-star recruits to be hopeful about heading into 2013, Freeze and company are sure to find a few diamonds in the rough capable of becoming household names among SEC circles.
So, which 3-star recruits are capable of impressive early careers at Ole Miss?
Wide Receiver (WR) Derrick Jones, 6'2'', 185 lb. (Eupora, MS)
Already singled out as a potential "hidden gem" by Hugh Freeze in his signing day press conference, Derrick Jones is, more than anything, a phenomenal athlete. Jones is an athlete capable of being a playmaker on both sides of the ball for Ole Miss, as evidenced by stats compiled during his senior season at Eupora High School. The versatile player caught 44 passes for 975 yards and 15 touchdowns, while adding 39 tackles and six interceptions on the defensive side.
Which of these 3-Star Recruits Will Make the Greatest Impact Early?
Freeze recently suggested of Jones' potential in his official signing day press conference: "Derrick Jones may be one of the hidden gems in this class. I think the guy’s a phenomenal athlete. I’ve seen him play basketball when I’m out in my visit. He plays above the rim. I think he can play a lot of places for us, from safety to receiver."
Wide Receiver (WR) Quincy Adeboyejo, 6'3'', 180 lb. (Cedar Hill, TX)
In leading his team to a Texas Class 5A Division II championship game appearance, the speedy senior pulled in 91 catches for 1,265 yards and 17 touchdowns. Having fielded scholarship offers from the likes of Texas A&M, Nebraska and Clemson, among others, Adeboyejo ultimately decided to take his skills to Oxford. While he will have to compete for playing time with 5-star WR Laquon Treadwell (scout.com) and Rebel standout Donte Moncrief among others, the 3-star Texas native (scout.com) should have ample opportunity to contribute in Hugh Freeze's efficient offensive scheme even as a freshman.
Tight End (TE) A.J. Jackson, 6'6'', 240lb. (Hampton, GA)
One of three TEs inked by Ole Miss in the 2013 recruiting class, A.J. Jackson (No. 23 TE, per scout.com) has the body frame to become a major part of the Rebel offense both catching and blocking. The Rebels return no starting TEs for the 2013 campaign, so newcomers like 4-star TE Christian Morgan and 3-star TE A.J. Jackson will both likely see quality playing time in 2013. Consistent tight end play has been a missing key component in Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace's offensive arsenal, but Jackson should now help arm Wallace with yet another weapon on offense.
It will be interesting to see which 3-star Rebel recruits make names for themselves early in the upcoming football season. There is good reason to believe WR Derrick Jones, WR Quincy Abedoyejo and TE A.J. Jackson may be some of the hot young names coming out of summer camp for Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels.
In a star-studded recruiting class, every youngster in Oxford will be look to make an early splash.