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What They're Saying: Signing Day Links

Ole Miss landed back-to-back top-15 classes for the first time in school history dating back to the first recruiting rankings in 2002. It was a consensus top-20 class, ranked as high as No. 14 (247Sports.com). Here are a few related National Signing Day links to videos and stories:

VIDEO: Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze talks National Signing Day, Jeremy Liggins with CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman on Signing Day Live

VIDEO: Ole Miss tight ends coach/offensive recruiting coordinator Maurice Harris talks National Signing Day with the Clarion-Ledger's Courtney Cronin

Mississippi's Freeze happy with haul, writes David Brandt from the Associated Press

Ole Miss locks down top area talent, get top-15 class, writes Hugh Kellenberger from the Clarion-Ledger

Ole Miss fulfills needs with 2014 recruiting class, writes David Collier from the the Daily Mississippian

Change of heart: Rebels bolster secondary by swaying Shepard, leading with the signing-day flip of signee Tee Shepard from Mississippi State to Ole Miss, writes Parrish Alford from the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Freeze: '14 class 'better top to bottom,' writes Neal McCready from RebelGrove/Rivals.com

2014 Signing Day Guide Download, a comprehensive introduction to the entire signing class, from Jeffrey Wright of RebelGrove/Rivals.com

Role Definition, answering the question what position signee Jeremy Liggins will play at Ole Miss, writes Ben Garrett from the Ole Miss Spirit/Scout.com

And in case you missed it, Rebels Land Back-To-Back Top-15 Classes on OleMissSports.com and 'Bjork: It Lifts The Entire Athletics Program,' with Athletics Director Ross Bjork recounting the day that was for Ole Miss football, on Ole Miss Blog.



Ole Miss landed back-to-back top-15 classes for the first time in school history dating back to the first recruiting rankings in 2002. It was a consensus top-20 class, ranked as high as No. 14 (247Sports.com). 

The 27-player signing class included 14 high school and junior college All-Americans and five consensus four-star prospects, as well as offensive lineman Rod Taylor, who is listed as a 5-star prospect by 247Sports.com and a 4-star prospect by the other three major recruiting services.

After head coach Hugh Freeze's signing day press conference, I caught up with Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork to recount the day that was for Ole Miss football.

On the importance of signing day to the football program and the athletic program as whole:

"This day is really about the whole cycle of a football program, where you have fall practice, then you have the season, then you have the postseason, and then you go into signing day, and then you go into spring practice. This is another way to sell the program at the highest level. We know we have to get players, and so our coaches go out and do that. 

"To me, it's part of the big cycle of college football, and it becomes another holiday mixed in with all of the things that we do to run a high-level football program. The attention and coverage is great, and it lifts the entire athletic program to see what our staff has done the last two years to recruit at the highest level."

On this year's class compared to last year's class:

"Last year was so different and so unique because of the connections we had with the number one player overall, number one offensive lineman and number one receiver. It's different, and what's great about today is we had no surprises. 

"The less drama you can have on signing day, the better. We had a couple of battles at the end, but the less drama, the better. To me, today was perfect, and this is how you want it to go every year, where you're recruiting a high level but you have no surprises in a negative way. Our staff did a great job."

Rebels All-Time In Recruiting Rankings

The madness of National Signing Day returns on Wednesday, and while there isn't as much media focus on Ole Miss as last year, things seem to be shaping up nicely for the Rebels. As of Monday morning, the latest rankings have Ole Miss' 2014 class as high as No. 11 (247Sports) and consensus top-15 (ESPN #15, Rivals #15, Scout #15, 247Composite #13). After assembling a top-10 group a year ago, it would mark the first time in school history to record back-to-back top-15 signing classes. Below is a breakdown of how the Rebels have fared since recruiting rankings first emerged 13 years ago.


ESPN Rivals Scout 247 247Composite
2013 5 7 10 4 8
2012 NR 40 58 44 46
2011 25 19 20 19 20
2010 25 18 15 NA 38
2009 22 18 17 NA 17
2008 NR 29 38 NA 70
2007 NR 27 31 NA 20
2006 14 15 15 NA 8
2005 NA 30 29 NA 18
2004 NA 45 39 NA 41
2003 NA 38 32 NA 28
2002 NA 33 26 NA NA


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Last Wednesday was not only National Signing Day but also National Ole Miss Day. With a recruiting class ranked as high as No. 2 nationally, the Rebels were the talk of the sports world, and the exposure our university experienced is still being felt. Quantifying the value of that publicity is extremely subjective, and while we are still trying to determine a figure we feel is accurate, we are certain that it was a multimillion dollar day for the Red and Blue.

ESPNU's daylong NSD coverage highlighted Ole Miss probably more than any other school. ESPN also picked up the U's coverage periodically, resulting in Coach Hugh Freeze conducting two live interviews on the morning Sportscenter. Freeze also did on-camera TV interviews with Fox News, CBS Sports Network, FSN and CSS. For radio, we received approximately 30 interview requests on and around signing day, half of which were national radio shows. Among those that we were able to find time to accommodate, Freeze appeared on Mike & Mike In the Morning, the Jim Rome Show, the Dan Patrick Show and SVP & Russillo.

The print media clips continue to roll in, and we have documented at least 50 different articles so far. Among the more interesting recounts of the Rebels' historic day came from Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples, who spent two days as a fly on the wall of the IPF war room. Check out his article along with other highlights of the media coverage of National Ole Miss Day below.

From an internal media standpoint, OleMissSports.com earned 770,000 page impressions on NSD, which was tops among the 150-plus schools on the CBSSports.com College Network, followed by Alabama, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Michigan. Our Signing Day Central was a huge hit, and credit goes to Joey Jones, Darrias Thomas, Ken Edwards, Dan Pellegrino, Micah Ginn and so many others from our media relations and creative departments. As Coach Freeze has said, this is the "new norm" so let's do it all over again next year.

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