Kermit Davis made his presence felt on the men’s basketball recruiting trail this year, bringing the nation’s No. 25 recruiting class to Oxford in just his first full recruiting cycle in Oxford.
Davis accomplished the feat by signing four players on Wenesday’s National Signing Day. New recruits include Antavion “Dude” Collum, Bryce Williams, Rodney Howard and Sammy Hunter.
The highest rated prospect of the four is undoubtedly Dude Collum. Collum, a 6-foot-7-inch four-star small forward from Olive Branch, is rated as the No. 134 prospect in the 2019 class. Collum chose Ole Miss over offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgetown and Vanderbilt.
The dynamic Collum will bring a little bit of everything to the table next year in Oxford. As a junior in high school, Collum averaged nearly 21 points, 6 rebounds and almost 5 assists per game.
“Dude (Collum) is a guy we’ve been recruiting for a really long time. He’s got great size, he can shoot and he is really skilled,” Davis said. “You have a guy that can play multiple positions that comes from an unbelievable family. He’s a Mississippi kid from Olive Branch, so it’s really good to get one of the best players in our state.”
Davis added two four-stars in this class, the second being junior college transfer Bryce Williams. Williams is transferring to Ole Miss from Daytona State. The 6-foot-3-inch Floridian comes to Oxford after averaging 14 points and 3 rebounds per game a year ago. He’s upped his scoring this year at Daytona, reaching nearly 19 points per game.
“We think Bryce (Williams) is one of the best junior college guards in the country,” Davis said. “He is dynamic athlete that can be as athletic as anyone in college basketball at his position next year. He just needs to add strength, but he’s an excellent shooter and off to a great start at Daytona. (Daytona is) nationally ranked and playing really well.”
The other forward Davis signed on Wednesday is Sammy Hunter. Hunter is a native of the Bahamas, joining current Rebel Franco Miller Jr. who is also from the Bahamas. The 6-foot-9-inch Hunter currently attends British Columbia Christian Academy in Canada where he averages 30 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal.
“Sammy (Hunter) is one of the best kept secrets in this class. If he played on a regular summer circuit, he’d be one of the top 50 players in America,” Davis said. “Another guy with great size that can make the three. He’s still 17 years old as well, so really young. I think he will fit in that mold of the guys that we look for when it comes to building our program.”
Rodney Howard, a 6-foot-10-inch center from Georgia, rounds out Ole Miss’ 2019 recruiting class. Howard’s size and scoring ability will be a welcome sight in Oxford as he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assist in his junior year.
“We’ve been following Rodney (Howard) for a long time, and we’ve seen his growth. He’s going to play his whole senior season at 17 years old,” Davis said. “He doesn’t turn 18 until June, so Rodney’s best days are ahead of him. We’ve seen so much progress; he’s playing for a really good team at Legacy, and he’s off to a great start. Just with his character and work ethic, we think some great things are going to happen here for Rodney.”
All four players in this years’ signing class have a chance to play immediately next season. With Davis signing a top-25 ranked class in just his first year at Ole Miss, the future of Rebel basketball seems to be bright with Davis at the helm.
“With this recruiting class, I really think we filled some valuable needs,” Davis said. “I love their talent level and character. These guys can play multiple positions, and I think they’re going to fit in really well with the guys we have coming back next year.”