Ole Miss football adds seven to 2018 signing class

Six of the 22 signees are enrolled in school and will go through spring practice.

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 8:13 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke welcomed seven student-athletes on Wednesday to bring the 2018 recruiting class to 22 players.


Luke’s first recruiting class ranked 27th in the nation by Rivals and 30th by 247Sports.

“We were able to address our needs at every position,” Luke said. “A lot of credit goes out to our staff and what they are able to do, not only capitalizing on the momentum of the Egg Bowl and the early signing period, but also addressing some needs in this.

“Anytime you start where we started and end up around the Top 25 in the recruiting rankings, it’s just a credit to the staff and the job they’re able to do.”

On the offensive side of the football, the Rebels reeled in four-star wide receiver Miles Battle out of Houston Texas, and Mississippi 6A Player of the Year, Tylan Knight.

Battle joins a deeply talented receiving corps and Knight may be the most intriguing prospect of the day due to his ability to play on either side of the football. Knight was the MVP of the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game in December.

“We’ve talked about him at nickel, at returner, at running back, at slot,” Luke said. “I think he’s very, very versatile, but for his size, he is really physical, and that’s what you saw in the Miss-Al game. You saw it in the Mississippi state championship… so the kid can play. We have him on the bus, now we just have to find him the right seat.”

Knight possesses a lot of speed and will likely make Ole Miss more dynamic on special teams next fall along with slot receiver Elijah Moore who signed in December. Luke called Knight the steal of the 2018 class.

“Just a little bit different style of athlete than we’ve had in the past,” Luke said. “I think they will add a dimension to us in the return game, potentially some speed sweeps, some screens, just to let them get the ball in the open field, and obviously the return game is now a chance for a big play and not just a fair catch all the time.”

The Rebels also added another offensive lineman on Wednesday in Atlanta product Hamilton Hall. On the offensive side, the Rebels added two more linebackers in Luke Knox - the brother of Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox - and Kevontae’ Ruggs out of Montgomery, Alabama. Arizona Western Junior College transfer defensive tackle Noah Jefferson rounds out the seven that signed with the Rebels Wednesday and is seen as a guy that can come in and contribute immediately on the interior defensive line.

The 22-man class contains a variety of different pieces with 11 front-seven defensive players. Ole Miss signed five interior defensive linemen in this class and one defensive end, all of whom are pushing the 300-pound mark or are well over it. The Rebels undoubtedly got bigger on the interior defensive line.

“Just my overall viewpoint is to win in this league you have to run the ball and you have to stop the run,” Luke said. “You see it on the offensive and defensive line in this class with bigger guys, so that’s a big point of emphasis for us moving forward into the spring is stopping the run and running the ball, so that’s why you see some of the size the way you do.”

Luke noted that Cunningham will likely start off on the offensive side of the football due to the need to replace Rod Taylor and Daronte Bouldin, but did not rule out the 6-foot-6, 345-pound Cunningham getting snaps on the defensive line at some point.

Five linebackers signed in this class, which Luke said was Ole Miss’ important position to address. Coffeyville Community College transfer Vernon Dasher will likely have an opportunity to compete for playing time at linebacker immediately as will a couple of other guys.

"It was much documented that we needed some help at linebacker, and we’re able to get some length and some size at linebacker,” Luke said. “We have three 6’4” plus linebackers, and I thought that was huge to get some size and some guys who could grow in the big, SEC linebacker.”

Even with a defensive-heavy class, Ole Miss was still able to replenish its skill positions by signing All-American quarterback Matt Corral, and four-star receivers DeMarcus Gregory, Battle and Moore. The Rebels also got the number one junior college running back in the country in Scottie Phillips. Luke made it pretty clear Phillips has a chance to shoulder an important role with the departure of Jordan Wilkins.

“I think anytime you look at it, the one who jumps to my mind is Scottie Phillips,” Luke said. “Just because of having to replace Jordan Wilkins, Scottie is the one that jumps to my mind, and that was a big need for us.”

Six of the 22 signees are enrolled in school and will go through spring practice. The Rebels begin spring ball on February 27.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 92432

Reported Deaths: 2792
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6931154
DeSoto535455
Harrison370771
Jackson335867
Madison319086
Rankin316174
Lee256166
Jones237678
Forrest231769
Washington216371
Lafayette205039
Lauderdale1990124
Bolivar177565
Oktibbeha174149
Lamar157733
Neshoba1529103
Panola142426
Sunflower139643
Lowndes138957
Warren137250
Leflore135380
Pontotoc121216
Pike120448
Monroe118265
Scott115925
Copiah115733
Coahoma111227
Holmes108558
Marshall107115
Grenada105035
Lincoln104953
Yazoo103529
Simpson100742
Union97724
Tate95037
Leake93735
Adams90936
Wayne87121
Pearl River85150
Marion83633
Prentiss80317
Covington79622
Alcorn76311
Newton75022
Itawamba74621
Tallahatchie74518
George74013
Winston72019
Tishomingo65336
Chickasaw64124
Attala64025
Tippah63716
Walthall59025
Clay56516
Hancock55720
Noxubee54015
Jasper53815
Clarke53138
Smith51814
Calhoun50612
Tunica47613
Montgomery45320
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42312
Yalobusha41514
Perry39417
Humphreys37215
Quitman3725
Stone34811
Greene33817
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32311
Amite31110
Carroll31012
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28615
Sharkey26212
Jefferson2379
Benton2181
Franklin1873
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18772333
Mobile12975289
Montgomery8598173
Madison742275
Tuscaloosa7081114
Lee560359
Shelby557250
Baldwin503348
Marshall378442
Etowah330645
Calhoun324939
Morgan314226
Houston264422
Elmore249747
DeKalb232619
St. Clair219835
Walker219180
Talladega203426
Limestone194219
Cullman180817
Franklin173428
Dallas173226
Russell16922
Autauga166424
Lauderdale161633
Colbert158126
Escambia155424
Blount152714
Jackson148511
Chilton146327
Covington130327
Dale130043
Coffee12488
Pike11359
Tallapoosa112983
Chambers111742
Clarke104617
Marion92128
Butler90638
Barbour8247
Marengo69619
Winston68712
Lowndes64527
Pickens62814
Bibb61910
Hale61028
Randolph59112
Bullock58514
Lawrence57820
Monroe5738
Geneva5564
Cherokee54816
Washington54513
Perry5366
Clay5317
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw51931
Conecuh51711
Macon46720
Henry4594
Sumter41719
Fayette4159
Choctaw34412
Lamar3372
Cleburne3166
Greene30015
Coosa1603
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