Last year, Lane Kiffin gave himself the nickname “Portal King” to commemorate his historic recruiting class, and he is looking to reclaim his title this offseason.
Kiffin and the staff have been busy in the early window, signing a number of instant-impact players in high-value positions.
Walker Howard, QB (via LSU)
Howard transfers to Ole Miss after spending his redshirt freshman year in the Bayou, and Rebel fans should be excited. Howard was a top-40 prospect in the 2022 class and was rated the No. 5 quarterback nationally. He should provide competition for returning quarterback Jaxson Dart, giving the Rebels a pair of young elite recruits at the most important position on the field.
Spencer Sanders, QB (via Oklahoma State)
This is a questionable take, in my opinion. Sanders is an average quarterback, and while he is experienced, he does not provide an immediate upgrade over Dart. Sanders (going into his fifth year) is likely a single season rental, and if he pushes either of the younger players to the portal, it would be a serious loss.
Tre Harris, WR (via Louisiana Tech)
Harris likely will shoot to the top of the depth chart next season. He has a great frame, runs strong routes and presents a legitimate red-zone threat. Harris caught 65 passes for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Look for him to replace Jonathan Mingo as Dart’s primary target.
Chris Marshall, WR (via Texas A&M)
Like Howard, Marshall was an elite recruit in the 2022 class (25th-ranked player nationally). Though he had a quiet year for the Aggies, I expect him to contribute for Ole Miss as a sophomore and give the Rebels a pair of big-body threats at receiver.
Caden Prieskorn, TE (via Memphis)
Prieskorn will be an immediate starter for the Rebels, giving them security at one of the worst positions on the roster. The 6 ‘6, 255 pound behemoth is a legitimate receiving threat as he hauled in 48 catches for more than 600 yards in 2022. He should pair nicely with Michael Trigg to form a strong duo.
Victor Curne, OL (via Washington)
Curne is an interesting addition. The 6 ‘4, 320 pound lineman played in just three games last season, but was a starter in both 2020 and 2021 at right tackle. With Micah Pettus and Jayden Williams both returning, it is unclear where he will play, but at the very least he provides depth for a unit that suffered attrition in the offseason.
Quincy McGee, OL (via UAB)
McGee is a Mississippi native and, like Curne, has a chance to play immediately at guard. McGee has starting experience for UAB and is a much needed boost for a room that needs all the depth it can get. Though the offensive line may not be a group of flashy recruits, it is made up of veterans who have plenty of experience.
Joshua Harris, IDL (via NC State)
The signing of Harris is great news for Ole Miss fans for more than one reason. Harris was a rotational player for the Wolfpack and will likely be the same at Ole Miss. Pursuing 300+ pound defensive tackles means the staff likely plans to switch to a four-man front as opposed to the ineffective 3-2-6 of last season..
Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, LB (via UCF)
Jean-Baptiste recorded 52 tackles last season for the Knights, but the real draw is his versatility. Jean-Baptiste played mostly as an off-ball linebacker, but was occasionally used as a stand up edge defender in 3-4 packages. There is no clarification if he will remain as a JACK backer or move to a true MIKE spot, but it will be interesting nonetheless.
Monty Montgomery, LB (via Louisville)
In 2022, Monty Montgomery recorded 70 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions and was the star of Louisville’s defense. In 2023, he could be the playmaker the Rebels need at linebacker. Look for Montgomery to start next season at middle linebacker and expect to see him blitz often.
John Saunders, CB (via Miami of Ohio)
Despite being listed on 247Sports as a wide receiver, Saunders played exclusively cornerback for the Redhawks last season. He is a longer prospect (listed at 6 ‘2) which lines up with the traits that Ole Miss usually looks for in cornerbacks. Unless Davison Igbinosun withdraws from the portal, Saunders could be a Week 1 starter.
DeShawn Gaddie, CB (via North Texas)
Standing at 6’1, Gaddie is yet another lengthy cornerback addition for the Rebels. Gaddie, a 13-game starter in 2022, recorded 61 tackles and 12 pass break-ups last season for the Mean Green. The Rebels now have three cornerbacks with D1 starting experience (Deantre Prince, Saunders and Gaddie) as they look to add depth to the room. Expect it to be a three-way competition for two starting spots, with true freshman Braxton Myers looking to break onto the scene.
Caden Davis, K (via Texas A&M)
This is an interesting take for sure. Davis has attempted only four field goals in his career and made just one. The Rebels do not have a strong starter at the positions, so Davis may be the Week 1 option.