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Four Downs: The top stories from the weekend in Ole Miss sports

Last updated: 01-24-2020

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Four Downs: The top stories from the weekend in Ole Miss sports

The weekend that was in Ole Miss sports was fast-moving. Miss any of the action? A look back at the most important stories all Rebel fans should know, all in one place …

Ole Miss capped a successful recruiting weekend with the commitment of four-star running back Henry Parrish, its third pledge in three days.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Yeboah, a former two-star recruit, caught 19 passes for 233 yards and five touchdowns for the Owls last season. As a post-graduate transfer, he’s eligible to play immediately and has one season of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-3 210-pound Reese, previously ranked as a four-star, has two seasons left but will have to sit out 2020 unless he’s granted a waiver by the NCAA. He played in all 14 games in 2019 and totaled three total tackles. He saw action in 11 of 14 games as a freshman, garnering his first and only career start against Auburn. He notched 13 tackles in all.

Parrish, of Columbus High School in Miami, Fla., announced for Ole Miss only a few hours after he left campus.

“It went well,” Parrish said of his visit, in an interview with David Johnson of The Ole Miss Spirit. “The coaching staff, the teammates, just Mississippi. I love it. I fell in love with it, and I feel like this is my home for the next three to four years.”

The 5-10, 183-pounder chose Ole Miss over 20-plus other schools. He’s rated as the nation's No. 24 running back for his class by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. Parrish is the No. 51 player regardless of position in talent-rich Florida's 2020 prospect pool.

Parrish was one of six official visitors for Ole Miss, joining, among others, five-star running back Zach Evans, the No. 1 RB in the country, and a pair of four-stars in defensive end Demon Clowney and offensive/defensive lineman Marcus Henderson. Clowney, per sources, is potentially nearing a decision and is unsure of whether he’ll take additional visits. Could he be leaning the Rebels' way? He intends on being a mid-year enrollee. More on Clowney HERE.

Story: Marcus Henderson down to three after his Ole Miss official visit

Story: The latest on Ole Miss and a couple four-star targets

Story: Former Georgia safety Otis Reese plans to transfer to Ole Miss

Freddie Roach could be on the move after all.

New Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin held off the NFL’s New York Giants to hold on to the Rebels’ fourth-year defensive line coach with a bump in title to assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator. However, on Sunday, and a day following the school’s official announcement of Kiffin’s completed staff, Chuck Rounsaville of The Ole Miss Spirit is reporting Roach is being pursued by his alma mater, Alabama.

Last season, Roach helped mentor second team All-SEC selection Benito Jones, as well as defensive tackle Josiah Coatney. Jones led the SEC and ranked fourth nationally with 23 defensive stops at the nose tackle position. Coatney led all Ole Miss defensive linemen with 46 total tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. The Ole Miss defensive line was a key unit for a Rebel defense that limited three straight opponents to under 70 yards rushing for the first time in 20 seasons.

The rumor, according to Rounsaville, is ‘gaining momentum’ and the potential loss of Roach is very real. Should Roach leave for Alabama, Kiffin would be left with one vacant position on his staff. Alabama ‘made a run’ at Roach in his first season at Ole Miss, but the Rebels upped his salary substantially and he decided to stay put.

More on Roach HERE.

Despite a career-high 36 points from senior guard Breein Tyree, Ole Miss basketball fell to 9-8 (0-4 SEC) on the season, and extended its losing streak to five, with an 80-76 loss to LSU. The Rebels are No. 111 in the NCAA NET rankings, third-worst in the conference, and are projected to finish 14-17 (5-13) by KenPom.com.

Ole Miss has lost each of its first four SEC games for the first time since 2010-11. The Rebels next travel to Tennessee for an 8 p.m. CT tipoff Tuesday night on SEC Network. The Volunteers are 11-6 (3-2 SEC) following a 66-45 win at Vanderbilt.

“Being the only senior, you want to kind of give the younger guys confidence,” Tyree said. “But they’re the guys that need to make the plays. When I’m at the (free throw) line, I’m the guy that needs to make the play. Everybody needs to take responsibility for their games. Get in the gym, even when we have an off-day. That’s when you get better and when this team will really start winning. That’s that extra little that we need. We could easily be 3-1 in this league right now. We’re 0-4. We have to keep going or it will snowball.”

Promising for the Rebels, and a peak into the future, was a must-see shot by November pick-up Matthew Murrell, the highest-ranked signee (No. 47 overall) in the modern era of Ole Miss basketball. Murrell, in a game against Monteverde Academy on Sunday, nailed a buzzer-beating, near-full-court shot at the end of the third quarter for IMG Academy.

Monteverde came out on top in the Spalding Hoophall Classic showdown, 76-64. No. 24 IMG (12-4) had won five of its previous six and four straight prior to the loss. Murrell scored 17 points, including four threes, in a win over TPS on Saturday.

Kiffin certainly kept busy over the weekend.

Along with hosting recruits, Kiffin and his entire coaching staff were recognized at the Ole Miss basketball game. The coaches were introduced to a standing ovation from the near-capacity Pavilion crowd.

The Kiffin hire, which earned an ‘A’ grade by 247Sports, and the staff he put together have been met with high marks by fans and media alike. But what is the consensus opinion of the coaching profession? A few quotes from the ranks, as compiled anonymously by Rounsaville, the publisher of the Ole Miss Spirit:

“I am impressed. I don't know all of them — he has reached out to different coaching 'trees' — but the ones I do know are top notch.”

“It looks as if Kiffin has done his homework. Of the ones I am familiar with, about half his staff, they are not only excellent coaches, they are really good men, the kind of men you want leading our youth today.”

“I personally do not know much about their coaching ability, but I know several of them from the recruiting trail and the ones I have gone head-to-head with are tough competitors who turn over every rock.”

“I'm surprised. Kiffin drew some guys to Mississippi I did not think he could get there. These coaches are veterans who would not go into a situation where they thought it would be three (years) and out. Most of these guys gave up good gigs for this shot. Kudos to Lane for being able to draw them.”

Kiffin could also soon add former Mississippi State recruiting coordinator Pat Austin to a similar position at Ole Miss, and further movement in the recruiting office is expected to be announced this week.

More quotes on Kiffin's staff can be found HERE.


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