On and off the grounds of Skyline High School, a powerhouse of prep talent deep inside the football hotbed of Dallas, Ty Barrett has grown comfortable in an unfamiliar ball cap …
Texas and Texas A&M are giants nearby, the local favorites. TCU and SMU -- both of which have offered scholarships -- sit right there in the metroplex. The likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Arizona State want him, too.
But Barrett, a 6-foot-5, 308-pound junior and ESPN Watch List offensive tackle, is not joking.
"I'm very serious," he said. "Ole Miss is trying to change the SEC."
Some 800 miles east across the rugged landscape of the top league in college football, Watch List cornerback Nicholas Ruffin of Atlanta St. Pius X has held an offer from the University of Mississippi since his sophomore year. The Rebels were his first.
Still, he thought, Ole Miss? That is, until Hugh Freeze, who just finished his first year as coach in Oxford, Miss., began to construct a 2013 recruiting class that gained attention nationally, ranking No. 5 in RecruitingNation's class rankings behind Alabama, Florida, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
To read more of Mitch Sherman's piece on Ole Miss' recruiting efforts, click here.