On March 17, Hugh Freeze's Ole Miss Rebels officially begin spring practice.
On the heels of a remarkable 7-6 turnaround last season, including a 38-17 win over Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl, the Rebels have their eyes on what dreams may come in 2013.
The future undoubtedly looked bright after Freeze helped change the culture surrounding Ole Miss football last season and turned the program into a winner. However, the head coach wasn't satisfied.
On February 6, National Signing Day, Freeze inked the No. 5 recruiting class in America (ESPN). A stellar class from top to bottom, the class was highlighted by four 5-star recruits: DE Robert Nkemdiche, OT Laremy Tunsil, S Tony Conner and WR Laquon Treadwell.
After summer practice, Ole Miss will likely mix these true freshmen into the fall rotation. However, this spring the Rebels will return the vast majority of their 2012 starters. Specifically, only starting OG A.J. Hawkins, RB Randall Mackey and TE Ferbia Allen are lost from last season. Freeze will have the services of essentially the entire starting defense and all but three offensive starters for spring practice. That's a pretty good sign of things to come.
Further, eight mid-year enrollees will be available this spring in Oxford: ATH Anthony Alford, ATH Nick Brassell, C Austin Douglas, DE Lavon Hooks, WR Quadarius Mireles, RB Mark Dodson, TE Christian Morgan and P Andy Pappanastos. It's a quality group of players, each of whom will have a shot to make a name for himself.
Let's take a look at how spring football shapes up in Oxford.