In recent years, Ole Miss has consistently had one of the best recruiting classes in the country. Well, now we know why.
The NCAA has formally charged Ole Miss with rules violations in three sports, including football. The announcement came just five days before National Signing Day on Feb. 3.
How much might these allegations affect the Rebels on Wednesday?
“Greatly – because they (have) a top-five (class) right now,” CBS Sports Network recruiting insider Tom Lemming said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “They have a lot of great players committed and even more that were looking their way. It could greatly affect them. This is the worst possible time to put this news out with only five days left before National Signing Day. So it could affect them greatly. Even if it’s just innuendo and rumor and they don’t really have a lot of facts, it’s going to stretch out so it’s definitely going to affect Ole Miss.”
Ole Miss has landed several highly touted recruits in recent years, including Laremy Tunsil, Robert Nkemdiche and Laquon Treadwell.
“Whenever I travel nationally, especially in the South and other Southeastern Conference schools, they’d talk about, ‘We can’t believe they’re getting them. They got to be doing something,’” Lemming explained. “No one had any hard facts about it, but since Ole Miss was an also-ran for years, they threw a lot of innuendos at them. I’m sure Ole Miss was hearing it, and I’m sure the NCAA obviously would probably hear a lot of it. Getting players from Chicago or Florida and (other) parts of the country where they normally (don’t get players) opened a lot of eyes.”
It also raised eyebrows. Offensive tackle and Allen, Texas, native Gregory Little, for example, committed to Texas A&M before switching to Ole Miss in December. Even Treadwell’s path to Oxford was suspicious. It seemed a foregone conclusion that he would end up at Michigan, but Ole Miss snagged the services of the 6-2 wideout, who had 82 catches for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season.
“They could be just doing great recruiting,” Lemming said, “but it did open a lot of eyes and a lot of people started talking. Some of it’s true, some of it’s false, so I guess it will just have to play out. But happening five days before Signing Day will not do them any good, believe me.”