Saturday, April 13, 2013
Recruits turn out for Ole Miss' Grove Bowl
By Mitch Sherman
OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss continues to capitalize on the momentum produced in February by a No. 5-rated signing class that turned heads in the Southeastern Conference and nationally.
The Rebels drew a crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday estimated at 28,000 by the school for its final spring practice, the Grove Bowl, despite a scaled-down event that included minimal game-like activity after injuries hit hard in practice.
Defensive end signee Robert Nkemdiche, the No. 1 prospect in 2013, was among a star-studded throng of visitors to Ole Miss' spring game Saturday.
The spring game opened with a set of field-goal and extra-point drills. Coaches stood on the field during plays from scrimmage, a strategy that nearly got coach Hugh Freeze buried during a 75-yard interception return by linebacker Serderius Bryant.
Nevertheless, fans appeared to enjoy the festivities in large part because of the star power -- past and future -- in attendance. Ole Miss welcomed several of its NFL alumnae, including Dexter McCluster and Deuce McAlister. But the recent signees captured as much attention.
On the field after the game, incoming freshman defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) attracted a horde of fans in search of photos and autographs. Nkemdiche was rated No. 1 in the ESPN 150 from wire to to wire in 2013. Other top 2013 signees in Oxford this weekend included No. 1 receiver Laquon Treadwell of Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee and quarterback DeVante Kincade of Dallas Skyline.
Treadwell brought a former teammate with him, 2014 ESPN Watch List receiver Nyles Morgan, whose list of offers, in addition to Ole Miss, features home-state Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Miami, UCLA, Washington and Wisconsin.
Coveted defensive tackles Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton) and Garrald McDowell of Covington, La., also made it to Oxford in addition to 2014 commit Andy Bauer, a Watch List offensive tackle from St. Louis De Smet Jesuit.
The Rebels already have nine pledges in their 2014 class.