(Editor's note: For five years, Dave
Childers has provided a position by position analysis beginning the day after
National Signing Day. In an eight part series, he breaks the class down for RebelSports.net. On Thursday, a look
was offered at quarterbacks, and on Friday, an analysis was provided of running
backs. Today, he provides a look at wide receivers. In the coming days, the series will look at
kickers, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers,
and defensive backs.)
The skinny …
Ole Miss looses only one wide receiver - All-SEC performer Mike Wallace - but
recruited the position like there was no tomorrow. And, it paid off.
The Rebels hauled in four wide receivers with them all having height and speed in common. All three are in the 6-foot-3 range and have been clocked in
the sub 4.5 range.
The Rebels will probably look for a least one
to impact this fall and the signee who will likely get that chance is Parade and U.S. Army
All-American selection Patrick Patterson. The other two signees - 6-foot-3,
200 pound Terrell Grant and 6-foot-2, 195 pound Ja-Mes Logan are likely not far
behind Patterson. While local star (Lafayette County) Montez Phillips
could also see time at wide receiver, he could get a look on special teams
and at cornerback this fall. However, he certainly has the tools to be developed
into a bigger Dexter McCluster-type (WR, RB, QB) if the staff chooses to use him
in that role.
In addition to the four wide outs, Ole Miss
signed tight end prospect Z. Mason. At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, Mason could
be used almost immediately as a tight end, or he could be developed for a
position on the offensive line. Either way, he gives flexibility to the
staff by adding another tight end prospect after they signed two last year.
Overall assessment ... As with running
back, the Rebels are loaded. McCluster and senior Shay Hodge with be the
leaders on the field for 2009. Returning will be experienced players like
juniors Markeith Summers and Lionel Breaux, along with sophomore Andrew Harris.
Harris was used mostly in blocking schemes last season and is ready to show he's
a talent catching the ball - but first must win a steady job on the field, which
he'll try to do in the spring. Also ready to enter prime time is 6-foot-7,
215 pound Melvin Harris, who drew a redshirt last season after breaking a foot
during summer school.
Tight is looking bright, particularly with the
emergence of junior college transfer Gerald Harris, who started to figure things
out late in the season and had two touchdown catches in the Cotton Bowl.
He's joined by veteran Reggie Hicks and two redshirt freshmen - Ferbia Allen and
E.J. Epperson - both whom have size and skills to contribute this season.
Overall, the wide receiver corps is talented
and deep, and the newcomers - except for one or two - may have wait a year
before they can impact. But it's a situation that bodes well for the
future of the position on the team.
The ones that got away ... Memphis (Harding) athlete Marlon
Brown. Brown never allowed Ole Miss to seriously recruit him until very
late in the process and when it came down to decision day - Brown spurned the
new staff at Tennessee and Ole Miss to stick with the team that had been
recruiting him for years - Georgia. Brown has the potential to be a big
time talent - and the staff wanted him for his talent and the "good kid" label that
came with him. Rebel fans wanted him for the rankings. Had he signed with
Ole Miss, the Rebels would have been a Top 15 class. However, any of the
three-star ranked receivers that Ole Miss signed have near the same size and speed and may turn out to be as productive as Brown.
Terrell Grant, WR, 6-3, 200, Cleveland,
selection ... Named second team All-State byThe
Clarion-Ledger... Rated the No. 27
player in Mississippi byRivals.com...
Listed as the No. 14 player in Mississippi and the No. 52 TE in the nation byScout.com...
Rated the No. 110 athlete in the country byESPN...
Caught 35 passes for 481 yards as a senior ... Also rushed 12 times for 198
yards ... Coached in high school by Greg Robinson.
Ja-Mes Logan, WR, 6-2,
195, Houston, Texas (Westfield)--
selection and rated the No. 84 player in Texas ... Hauled in 40 catches for 793
yards and 12 TDs as a senior ... Earned All-Greater Houston honors from the
Touchdown Club of Houston... Rated
the No. 86 WR in the nation by ESPN and No. 124 byScout.com...
Posted 21 receptions for 325 yards and six TDs as a junior ... Earned
All-District 13-5A first team honors as a junior and senior ... A Jerry RiceWide
Receiver of the Year Nominee ... Coached in high school by Corby Meekins.
Z. Mason, TE, 6-5, 255,
Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy)--
Rated the No. 2 TE and No. 91 player in the nation byESPN...
Earned first team Class 2A All-State honors from theTennessee
Sports Writers Associationas a
senior ... Ranked the No. 13 TE in the country byScout.comand
No. 20 player in Tennessee byRivals.com...
Posted 35 catches for 464 yards and seven TDs as a senior ... Also rushed for
489 yards and 10 TDs ... A 2008 Class 2A Mr. Basketball finalist ... Average 24
points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.8 blocks per game as a junior ... Garnered more then
30 Division I basketball scholarship offers ... Earned All-State honors in
basketball from theTennessee Sports
Writers Associationas a junior ...
Helped lead basketball team to state tournament as a junior ... Coached in high
school by Jay Matthews ... Position coach in high school was former NFL tight
end Ernie Conwell.
Pat Patterson, WR, 6-3,
215, Macon, Miss. (Noxubee County)--
ArmyAll-American selection ... Named
Team and rated the No. 57 player in the nation ... ASuperPrepAll-America
selection and a second teamEA SPORTSAll-America
pick ... Rated the No. 1 player in Mississippi and the No. 4 WR and No. 50
overall player in the nation byRivals.com...
Considered the No. 1 player in Mississippi and the No. 5 WR and No. 48 overall
player in the nation byScout.com...
Offensive Player of the Year and rated No. 14 player in the nation... Earned
first team All-America honors fromMaxPrepsand
was ranked the No. 2 WR and No. 24 player in the nation byTom
Lemming... Rated the No. 14 WR and No. 114 player in the nation byESPN...
A first team All-State pick byThe
Clarion-Ledger... Named Class 4A
Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-State by theMississippi
Coaches' Associationas a senior ...
A Dandy Dozen pick byThe
Clarion-Ledgerand rated No. 3 on the
paper's Most Wanted List ... Ranked 20th on theMobile
Press Register'sSuper Southeast ...
Named to theOrlando SentinelAll-Southern
Team ... Rated the No. 1 player in Mississippi and the No. 2 WR in the nation bySuperPrep...
Caught 73 passes for 1,287 yards and 19 TDs as a senior ... Posted 72 receptions
for 1,424 yards and 18 TDs as a junior ... Helped lead Noxubee County to the 4A
state championship as a senior and state runner-up as a junior ... Participated
in the 2008 Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game ... Coached in high school by M.C.
Montez Phillips, ATH,
6-3, 190, Oxford, Miss. (Lafayette County)--
selection ... Rated the No. 26 player in Mississippi bySuperPrep...
Listed as the No. 17 player in Mississippi and the No. 66 WR in the nation byRivals.com...
Ranked as the No. 89 WR in the nation byESPN...
Considered the No. 16 player in Mississippi and the No. 127 WR in the nation byScout.com...
A second team All-State pick byThe
Clarion-Ledgeras a senior ... A
three-time All-Region pick and the Region 2-4A Offensive Player of the Year as a
senior ... Participated in the 2008 Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game ... Rushed
for 559 yards and threw for 732 yards with 18 total TDs as a senior ... Added
958 yards passing and 858 yards rushing with 16 total TDs as a junior ... A two
time All-Area pick by theOxford
Eagle... Coached in high school by