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Ole Miss is the big winner on Signing Day

Ole Miss is the big winner on Signing Day

Ole Miss is the big winner on Signing Day

In college football, the only thing that counts is recruiting. You can't win without players.

Hugh Freeze is really cleaning up for the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels recovered from a disastrous 2-10 season in 2011 to finish 7-6 under the second-year coach, including a win over rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl and Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

On Wednesday, Freeze claimed the number one overall recruit by most recruiting services in defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Nkemdiche, from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, made the announcement Wednesday, the first day prep football recruits could officially sign with colleges. He chose the Rebels over LSU and Florida.

He'll be joined in Oxford by the No. 1 offensive tackle in Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), the nation's No. 1 receiver in Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill.),  lineman Austin Golson and safety Antonio Conner. They form the foundation for what could be the Rebels' best recruiting class.

Ole Miss is the 11th school since ESPN began ranking recruits in 2006 to get multiple top-five players, but only the fourth school to do it in the same season. USC did it in 2007, while Florida and Texas did it in 2010.

The Rebels also signed Nkemdiche's close friend and Loganville Grayson teammate David Kamara, a three-star cornerback, but missed out on defensive end Chris Jones, who stayed true to his longtime commitment to Mississippi State.
When Nkemdiche, Treadwell and Tunsil announced their decisions, the Ole Miss coaching staff celebrated.

Nkemdiche's choice marks a signature addition to what is shaping up to be one of the top recruiting classes in the country. He had offers from coast to coast and took official visits to Florida, Ole Miss and LSU before deciding to join his brother in Oxford. Denzel Nkemdiche, a defensive back, had a breakout season for the Rebels in 2012, leading the team with 82 tackles, including 13 for a loss.

The SEC had more big recruiting hits including Auburn, as Montravius Adams, the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle prospect out of Dooly County High School in Vienna, Ga., committed to the Tigers.

Adams made official visits to Florida, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn over the past five weekends. He said early in his recruitment that he would like to leave the Peach State to continue his football career. Clemson appeared to be the early front-runner, as the Tigers' coaching staff was the first to offer a scholarship to the Under Armour All-American. More than 20 programs followed suit, but Adams chose Auburn.

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