Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SEC [Print without images]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Ole Miss recruiting needs

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Coming off one of its most successful seasons in the last quarter century, Ole Miss hopes to cash in on that momentum on the recruiting trail.

The Rebels received some good news when defensive end Greg Hardy decided against turning pro and announced that he would be back for his senior season. But replacing All-America defensive tackle Peria Jerry will be a real chore.

Ole Miss still has a bunch of talented defensive linemen in the program, but just about everybody will be a junior or older next season. So the Rebels can use some guys who can play both inside and outside in this class.

Craig Drummond of Chicago, Ill., might be one of those. He committed to Ole Miss over Illinois last weekend. He's rated by ESPN's Scouts Inc. as the No. 7 defensive end in the country. The 6-5, 260-pound Drummond had offers from just about everybody, including Miami, Southern California, Florida, Ohio State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The Rebels also hope to load up on offensive linemen and cornerbacks in this class. Cornerback was the weakest position on the team last season. Marshay Green, one of the stars of the AT&T Cotton Bowl, will be back after making the switch from receiver to cornerback last spring, but the Rebels didn't have any quality depth at corner.

They have at least three cornerback prospects committed in this class, and junior college safety Jamar Hornsby has a chance to come in and play right away.

Ole Miss had one of the best starting offensive lines in the SEC last season, but there wasn't a lot of depth up front. The most noticeable absentee from that unit is All-America tackle Michael Oher, who won the SEC's Jacobs Trophy as the league's top blocker a year ago.