OXFORD • As Ole Miss coach Matt Luke tries to help young players develop en route to building his football team, he hasn’t overlooked the recruiting piece of the equation.
“We want to keep stacking those good classes on top of each other to build this thing and get it where we want it to be,” he said earlier this week.
The Rebels are off today and will play at Auburn next Saturday.
Six different freshmen from the 2019 signing class, which ranked No. 22 nationally and No. 9 in the SEC, have started at least one game this fall.
The Rebels are recruiting at about that clip right now after four-star Horn Lake defensive tackle Josaih Hayes, who committed to Ole Miss in early June, announced earlier this week that he is again considering other schools.
The Ole Miss class of 2020 commits is currently ranked No. 23 overall, No. 10 in the SEC on the industry-generated composite list at 247Sports.com.
Two of the Rebels’ top four 2019 signees – running back Jerrion Ealy and wide receiver Jonathan Mingo – were early commits who backed out of their commitments before signing with Ole Miss in the February late period.
Mingo has started all eight games and leads the team in yards per catch at 16.0 but has just nine catches for 144 yards.
Ole Miss has run the ball 61 percent of the time on 598 plays.
Luke signed four high school receivers plus junior college transfer Dontario Drummond in the 2019 class. He wants to see the receivers make more plays downfield.
Win some, lose some
“Whenever you’re taking a receiver, being able to win one-on-one is huge. We will win some of those. Again it’s the attention to detail. In some cases it’s going up and making the catch. Sometimes there needs to be a little better throw,” Luke said.
Ole Miss signed seven high school offensive linemen in 2019. The only one to play so far has been Nick Broeker.
Hayes’ sudden ambiguity hits the Rebels at a position of need for the 2020 class, but Ole Miss is also in good standing with four-star defensive tackles McKinnley Jackson of George County and Omari Thomas of Briarcrest Christian in Memphis.
The Rebels have made great strides against the run in the 3-4 scheme of new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre but will lose seniors Benito Jones, Josiah Coatney and Austrian Robinson.
Ole Miss coaches have been on the road recruiting this weekend.
“We have some needs at (defensive back) so we have a couple of spots there,” Luke said. “We have one at tight end, and we have some on the defensive line.”