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Friday, December 9, 2011
Hugh Freeze should hit recruiting hard

By Edward Aschoff

While there have been mixed emotions around Oxford, Miss., concerning the hire of new Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, he shouldn't have too much trouble hitting the recruiting trail for the Rebels.

ESPN recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg writes that even with the short recruiting window, Freeze should be familiar with a lot of the targets on Ole Miss' recruiting board because he was chasing the same players while at Arkansas State.

Three-star linebacker Richie Brown (Long Beach, Miss./Long Beach) knew Freeze at his old job and was impressed with him enough to keep looking at Ole Miss.

"He did a great job at Arkansas State," Brown told Newberg. "That's where I knew [Freeze] because they were recruiting me. I am glad he got the Ole Miss job and I think he will do very well. I just want to get up there and hang out with those guys and get a feel for how they are."

Freeze will have to work extra hard to grab the attention of some of the top talent in the state of Mississippi, but Newberg says that Freeze's fame from the best-selling book and hit movie "The Blind Side" should help him.
Freeze has another built-in recruiting ground he's very familiar with. In fact, he's perhaps most famous for what he did at high school coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. He was the high school coach portrayed in the movie "The Blind Side" about current Baltimore Ravens OT Michael Oher.

His ties to Memphis pay off immediately with a former Ole Miss commit. Memphis Ridgeway running back Jaylen Walton opened things back up when things went south in Oxford. But according to his high school coach, Durron Sutton, that could change with Freeze on board.