Ole Miss has a shot to sign the top three recruits in the country, and perhaps the top recruiting class in the country.
Yes, that Ole Miss. The school that last won a national title 50 years ago. The program that isn't even a perennial top-25 team. The school that celebrated making the Birmingham Bowl like it was the Super Bowl.
Given that, many fans on Twitter and message boards, and even some coaches, privately, are questioning Ole Miss' recruiting methods, via creative spellings like "Ole Mi$$," or otherwise.
And coach Hugh Freeze is not having it.
If you have facts about a violation, send it to email@example.com. If not, please do not slander these young men or insult their family— Hugh Freeze (@CoachHughFreeze) February 1, 2013
And to an extent, Freeze has a point.
This is a special year for Ole Miss.
The brother of the No. 1 recruit in the country happens to play for them, as does a former teammate of the top receiver nationally. Ole Miss has the top JUCO nationally, which isn't surprising given the proximity of the school to the strong junior colleges in the state. And traditional feeder school South Panola High just happens to have a five-star safety as well who is expected to head to Oxford.
But there are other recruits, like the top offensive tackle in the country, Laremy Tunsil, of Lake City (Fla.) Columbia High School, and Austin Golson of Prattville (Ala.) High School, who have seemingly no connection of the sort to Oxford. Neither have committed to the Rebels, at least not publicly, but Ole Miss is the favorite to land both.
It very well could be that Ole Miss' dynamic staff of recruiters has done a great job with those prospects. Given Freeze's brazenness, that is likely the case. Critics allege that it's something else.
At least, that's what Ole Miss hopes those looking into its recruiting practices will find. Because there's little doubt now, given Ole Miss' recruiting success relative to its stature as a program, is going to draw a lot of attention.
Earlier Monday, I tweeted about just that.
If that goes down, maybe Bama & UGA can get a group rate on private investigators in Oxford.— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) February 1, 2013
That's not to imply that Freeze and his staff are cheating, but rather a commentary on the certainty that competing SEC schools will definitely be trying to find any dirt possible on Freeze and his staff.
If Ole Miss is going to recruit at an elite level, it is going to have to learn to deal with a lot of scrutiny, because it is not yet an elite program. As the results on the field improve, as will likely happen given the level of talent coming to Oxford, some of this will die down.
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