ALLEN, Texas — One of the most anticipated recruiting storylines—one that, at times, seemed to be neverending—is over.
Nearly 30 schools extended their pitches for 5-star offensive lineman Greg Little, the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle and No. 2 overall player in the 2016 class. Early Wednesday afternoon, the Allen, Texas, product—who had an all-SEC top five—ended his recruiting process and verbally committed to Ole Miss.
Little had 27 reported offers and chose Ole Miss from a list consisting of Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Auburn. Little said Ole Miss, Alabama and LSU were the three finalists of the five.
"It was pretty hard toward the end. You have to evaluate every school that you bring to the table," Little said. "At the end of the day, you go with what your heart tells you to do."
Little chose Ole Miss after reopening his process in July. He decommitted from Texas A&M after choosing the Aggies as an incoming junior on June 20, 2014. Since the summer, Little has made the process a priority by not only taking the necessary visits, but also doing research on each school athletically and academically.
After originally setting to announce on Nov. 4, his 18th birthday, Little decided to push the date back to Nov. 13 to get in an official visit to Alabama the weekend before. He watched the Crimson Tide take down LSU and called the visit "eye-opening."
He and his family then decided on postponing the Nov. 13 announcement, making recruiting secondary to Allen High School's quest for a fourth consecutive Texas high school state championship. The Eagles lost in the Class 6A semifinals to Austin Westlake, ending a 57-game winning streak that Little played a major role in.
Little, who said he will take an official visit to Ole Miss in January, is projected to be an offensive tackle with all-conference capability, but he's also someone who is looking to get a degree in either business, marketing or finance. Little added that he has an interest in sports management.
When it was time to ultimately choose, it was Ole Miss that won his heart. And the Rebels did so without him taking an official visit there during the season. He took only one unofficial visit to Oxford, Mississippi, in June.
He said he didn't need to see anymore.
"It was the whole feel of family," Little said of Ole Miss. "It was the coaches and everybody around there. There was just a certain feel."
Little was recruited by offensive line coach Matt Luke and recruiting coordinator/defensive line coach Chris Kiffin. Little called the members of the coaching staff "great guys with a lot of high energy" and said he is positive he will learn a lot from the staff.
"I feel like they can prepare me to get to the next level," Little said of the coaches.
As for head coach Hugh Freeze, he and the Rebels will get a chance to coach another 5-star offensive tackle. Ole Miss has Laremy Tunsil, who was the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle and the No. 4 player overall in the 2013 class.
Tunsil is a junior who is expected to be a high first-round draft pick in the 2016 NFL draft—if he chooses to declare. Tunsil isn't expected to return to Ole Miss, as he's projected by some, such as the Washington Post's John Harris, to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Little said he had a chance to speak with Tunsil, the Rebels' left tackle, during and after the unofficial visit. He was able to get some solid advice from one of the SEC's premier players—advice he'll use immediately upon arrival at Ole Miss.
"He just told me to come in ready and be in shape," Little said. "They'll develop you, strength-wise; you just want to make sure you're ready to work and not be overwhelmed. It's a lot faster than high school.
"You can't come in and get too flustered. Everybody's going to make mistakes or lose reps. You just have to come back the next rep and learn from your mistakes."
Whether or not Tunsil leaves, Little said, did not have an effect on his overall decision. Little is looking to compete for a starting job regardless of who his competition is on campus. It helps that while Tunsil is expected to declare for the draft, right tackle Fahn Cooper is a senior who will finish his college career.
Little has played left tackle at Allen the last two seasons but isn't unfamiliar to playing right tackle.
"I just want the opportunity to work for a spot," he said. "I'm good with playing right or left."
Damon Sayles is National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles