The state of Mississippi has a strong class of offensive lineman, and Ole Miss will be looking to sign more than a few of these prospects. In addition to this, a number of highly ranked prospects from outside the Magnolia state have interest in the Rebels. With offensive line a heavy position of need on the current Ole Miss team, offensive line could be one of the most important positions to fill in the 2015 class.
One of the biggest prospects Ole Miss is after is offensive guard Javon Patterson. From Petal, Patterson is ranked as a four star and the nation’s second best guard by 247Sports composite ratings. Patterson listed his top five schools to Rivals as Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Florida and Mississippi State, with Ole Miss and Auburn as his top two. Patterson and fellow four-star offensive lineman Drew Richmond both visited Oxford recently. Following the visit, both linemen went to the Five-Star Rivals challenge camp, where they both received good reviews by the scouts in attendance.
Richmond also garnered a high rating from the 247 composite rating, coming in as the sixth best offensive tackle prospect in the country. Richmond, who is from Memphis, Tenn., has also been heavily sought after by SEC schools, with Alabama, Tennessee and Ole Miss all being in the mix to land him. Standing at 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, Richmond has prototypical size for a college or even pro offensive tackle. Ole Miss has a good connection to Richmond because of current Rebel lineman Ben Still. The two were teammates in high school and remain friends, which could give the Rebels an advantage in recruiting him. Richmond is set to make his decision on Sept. 9.
Another big target for the Rebels is Wetumpka, Ala., center Brandon Kennedy, who is ranked as a four star by 247’s composite ratings. He recently received a scholarship offer from Ole Miss, and according to Rivals.com he holds 21 other offers. In an interview with Rivals Kennedy said he was shocked and excited at receiving the offer from the Rebels. It is not sure whether he will play guard or center at the next level, but he has been recruited at both positions.
Garrett Thomas is another offensive tackle prospect with interest in the Rebels. Thomas is from Many, Louisiana and will likely play right tackle at the next level. Rivals.com reported that he has 22 scholarship offers, with Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Auburn and Texas among his leaders. He has repeatedly listed Ole Miss in his top two in interviews with the site, so the Rebels have a good chance at landing him. He visited Oxford last month and said he was very impressed by the visit.
Ole Miss is also considering adding some more immediate help to the offensive line in the form of junior college prospects. Martinis Rankin is one such player. The offensive tackle attends Gulf Coast Community College and is slated to graduate in December, meaning he will possibly be able to enroll early at the college he chooses to attend. With the two years of junior college experience and the ability to enroll early, Rankin could be an instant impact guy next year. Rivals lists his top five schools as Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisville, Kentucky and Oklahoma.
The next recruiting edition will focus on the defensive end and defensive tackle positions.