nationwide

National signing notes: Ole Miss pulls biggest surprise

Rebels get three top players

February 7, 2013 

  • Ranking the classes

    How Rivals.com and Scout.com rated the college football recruiting classes after the first day of the signing period:

    Top 25

    School Rivals Scout

    Alabama 1 3

    Ohio State 2 1

    Florida 3 8

    Notre Dame 4 5

    LSU 5 6

    Michigan 6 2

    Mississippi 7 9

    Texas A&M 8 6

    UCLA 9 4

    Auburn 10 13

    Florida State 11 15

    Georgia 12 10

    Southern Cal 13 17

    Clemson 14 12

    Oklahoma 15 18

    South Carolina 16 21

    Nebraska 17 11

    Washington 18 14

    Vanderbilt 19 19

    Tennessee 20 32

    Oregon 21 16

    Virginia Tech 22 35

    Mississippi State 23 20

    Texas 24 23

    West Virginia 25 26

    Baylor 29 25

    Pittsburgh 33 22

    Oklahoma State 34 24

    Others

    Arkansas 26 34

    Kentucky 28 40

    Indiana 41 51

    Missouri 49 37

    Louisville 57 56

    Marshall 64 72

    Western Kentucky 81 89

    Cincinnati 96 50

Mississippi muscled in on the powerhouses that usually dominate national football signing day, landing some of the most sought-after prospects in the country.

The Rebels, coming off a 7-6 season in their first season under coach Hugh Freeze, had the experts swooning by signing three of the bluest chips still on the board and building a well-rounded class.

First defensive end Robert Nkemdiche from Loganville, Ga., rated the No. 1 recruit in the country by most ranking services, decided to join his brother, Denzel, at Ole Miss.

Nkemdiche originally committed to Clemson last year, then backed off and narrowed his choice down to LSU, Florida and Mississippi.

A couple hours later, Laremy Tunsil, a top-rated offensive tackle from Lake City, Fla., picked the Rebels over Florida State and Georgia.

"Tunsil to Ole Miss I think was the biggest surprise of the whole (recruiting season)," said JC Shurburtt, national recruiting director for 247Sports.com.

Then highly touted defensive back Antonio Conner from nearby Batesville, Miss., chose the Rebels over national champion Alabama. But the Tide still had the No. 1 ranked recruiting class, according to Rivals.com.

Slipping away from USC

Signing day was as rough on Southern California as it difficult season was.

NCAA sanctions limited the number of scholarships and then as signing day approached USC had several players who had committed to them change their minds.

The most notable defection on signing day was five-star defensive back Jalen Ramsey of Brentwood, Tenn., who flipped to Florida State. Defensive end Torrodney Prevot from Houston not only reneged on his USC commitment, but he landed at Pac-12 rival Oregon.

Ray Lewis' son to Miami

Ray Lewis III, son of recently retired Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis, said he would go to Miami (Fla.), where both his parents went to school.


RANKING THE CLASSES

How Rivals.com and Scout.com rated the college football recruiting classes after the first day of the signing period:

Top 25

School Rivals Scout

Alabama 1 3

Ohio State 2 1

Florida 3 8

Notre Dame 4 5

LSU 5 6

Michigan 6 2

Mississippi 7 9

Texas A&M 8 6

UCLA 9 4

Auburn 10 13

Florida State 11 15

Georgia 12 10

Southern Cal 13 17

Clemson 14 12

Oklahoma 15 18

South Carolina 16 21

Nebraska 17 11

Washington 18 14

Vanderbilt 19 19

Tennessee 20 32

Oregon 21 16

Virginia Tech 22 35

Mississippi State 23 20

Texas 24 23

West Virginia 25 26

Baylor 29 25

Pittsburgh 33 22

Oklahoma State 34 24


Others

Arkansas 26 34

Kentucky 28 40

Indiana 41 51

Missouri 49 37

Louisville 57 56

Marshall 64 72

Western Kentucky 81 89

Cincinnati 96 50

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