Ole Miss football signing class 2022: What to expect from every player

Nick Suss
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

OXFORD — Ole Miss football isn't expected to bring in a big signing class in 2022, but there's some talent in the group.

Following a 10-2 regular season, the No. 8 Rebels had the nation's No. 24 signing class and the No. 12 class in the SEC per the 247Sports Composite rankings Wednesday afternoon.

The Rebels signed 16  players, but have room for more as decisions still need to be made about which underclassmen are returning and how many graduate transfers coach Lane Kiffin wants to bring in. 

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Editor's note: This story will be updated as signings become official. 

RB Quinshon Judkins (5-11, 200)

Pike Road High School (Pike Road, Alabama)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 44 RB

What to expect: If Ole Miss and Kiffin like a running back, that's usually a good thing. It's hard to know what next year's running back room will look like until Jerrion Ealy makes his NFL decision. But after Judkins ran for 3,016 yards and 51 touchdowns in the last two seasons, he's got the potential to factor into the Rebels' backfield early in 2022.

WR Jeremiah Dillon (6-2, 180)

Tylertown High School (Tylertown, Mississippi)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 124 WR

What to expect: Ole Miss has signed five wide receivers in the last two years. They've combined to catch zero passes. With Braylon Sanders, Dontario Drummond and Jahcour Pearson turning pro, the Rebels need some receivers to step up. Dillon has the frame and athleticism to earn some reps in the slot if he progresses quickly or if the older players on the depth chart continue to struggle. 

LB Jaron Willis (6-2, 228)

Lee County High School (Leesburg, Georgia)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 17 LB

What to expect: Ole Miss has absolutely reloaded at linebacker this class. Willis might be the crown jewel of a group that also includes Reginald Hughes, Jaylon White and Tyler Banks. He has the size and talent to be a fixture in the middle of Ole Miss' defense for years to come and it never hurts that he comes from the same high school as current fixtures in the Ole Miss defense Mark Robinson and Otis Reese.

ATH Tyler Banks (6-3, 235)

Nottoway High School (Crewe, Virginia)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 85 ATH

What to expect: It'll be interesting to see how Ole Miss decides to use Banks. He has experience at quarterback, receiver, linebacker and even punter. His experience with the ball in his hand can make him a jumbo running back or tight end, his size could land him as an edge rusher or his coverage experience could stick him at linebacker. There are a lot of options here, and Ole Miss would be foolish not to explore as many of them as they can.

S Taylor Groves (6-2, 182)

East Robertson High School (Cross Plains, Tennessee)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 24 S

What to expect: It's unfair to any freshman to ask him to take over Jake Springer's role in this Ole Miss defense, but that might be what Groves has to do. Groves is a big and rangy safety who can be molded into becoming a multi-purpose safety alongside AJ Finley and Otis Reese next year. No freshman should be expected to be a Springer-level difference maker Day 1, but Groves will probably have to at the very least contribute early.

WR Larry Simmons (6-2, 175)

Moss Point High School (Moss Point, Mississippi)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 64 WR

What to expect: Simmons is Ole Miss' longest-committed recruit and the Rebels should be rewarded for their loyalty to the three-star receiver. His speed and length could make him a weapon on the outside for Ole Miss, or at the very least, prove to be valuable on special teams.

CB Nick Cull (5-11, 175)

Seminole County High School (Donalsonville, Georgia)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 36. CB

What to expect: Ole Miss loaded up on defensive backs in last year's class. But with cornerbacks Jaylon Jones and Deane Leonard and safety Jake Springer exhausting their eligibility this fall, the Rebels will need to infuse new talent. With his size, Cull probably profiles as a nickelback or interior safety, potentially taking over for Tysheem Johnson if he moves outside to sideline corner next year.

TE Kyirin Heath (6-4, 232)

Mansfield Legacy High School (Mansfield, Texas)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 47 TE

What to expect: Barring an exodus to the transfer portal, Ole Miss should have a bit of a logjam at tight end next year. Casey Kelly and Chase Rogers should be back and Hudson Wolfe will grow after an injury-plagued freshman year. Where Heath fits in is yet to be seen, but his ability to play in-line or flanked out at receiver should make him a valuable asset for a coaching staff that likes to use its tight ends in a variety of ways.

CB Jarell Stinson (5-10, 160)

Opelika High School (Opelika, Alabama)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 42 CB

What to expect: Stinson is another in the line of smaller defensive backs Ole Miss is recruiting to play on the interior of its 3-2-6 scheme. Unless he packs on weight, it's hard to envision Stinson playing field or boundary corner. But he should have the build and agility to cover in the slot and over the middle against smaller receivers and running backs.

LB Reginald Hughes (6-2, 230)

Northeast Mississippi Community College (Tunica, Mississippi)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 2 juco LB

What to expect: Ole Miss has had success in recent years with junior college and grad transfer linebackers Chance Campbell, Mark Robinson and Lakia Henry. With Robinson, Henry and transferring senior MoMo Sanogo for sure gone and Campbell having the option to go pro, Hughes may need to be a plug-and-play option in the interior of Ole Miss' defense. No one expects him to be Campbell or Robinson from Day 1, but his size and college experience make him valuable at a position where Ole Miss needs help. 

OL Cam East (6-7, 280)

St. Augustine High School (New Orleans)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 51 OL

What to expect: Ole Miss made a late push to get East. East decommitted from Mississippi State on Dec. 3 after recruiting efforts from Kiffin. He once again fits the profile of the long-armed, projectable offensive linemen the Rebels like and, like fellow flip Falentha Carswell, has room to grow into his frame if he needs to.

LB Jaylon White (6-3, 201)

Parkview Magnet School (Little Rock, Arkansas)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 135 LB

What to expect: Linebacker is a position Kiffin and company have slightly under-recruited the last two years. The Rebels have only signed one freshman inside linebacker in the last two seasons, making White's signing a key piece for depth. There's going to be a lot of turnover at this position over the offseason, so White might have a time to compete for early reps alongside rotational pieces from 2021 like Austin Keys and Ashanti Cistrunk.

DL Zxavian Harris (6-8, 335)

Germantown High School (Madison, Mississippi)

247Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 24 DL

What to expect: It's easy to point to 2020 four-star Demon Clowney and 2021 four-star Tywone Malone as cautionary tales about the hype around Harris. But Harris has one thing those guys didn't; among the top 30 defensive linemen in this class, Harris is the tallest and third heaviest. He's huge. Whether he's better off eating space in the interior or battling tackles on the edge, Ole Miss needs to find a role for Harris and his unique build early.

OL Falentha Carswell (6-7, 275)

Washington County High School (Sandersville, Georgia)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 50 OL

What to expect: Ole Miss flipped Carswell's commitment from Miami on signing day. He fits the profile of the type of offensive lineman the Rebels tend to sign. He's long. That length should lend well to reach in pass protection. But he also has room to grow into his frame and move inside if necessary. He's an interesting project signing and one who should develop into a key piece on the Rebels' line.

P Fraser Masin (6-6, 215)

St. Joseph's Nudgee College (Brisbane, Australia)

247Sports Composite: Not applicable

What to expect: Kiffin isn't one to waste scholarships on special teamers. As was the case with kicker Caden Costa last year, when Kiffin goes out and gets a specialist, he expects that player to make a difference. Expect Masin, a big and athletic Australian punter, to fill in for what Mac Brown has been able to do for the last four years and take over the Rebels' punting game.

OL Preston Cushman (6-5, 285)

Calvary Christian School (Clearwater, Florida)

247Sports Composite: 3-star, No. 133 OT

What to expect: Cushman is a bit of a departure from the gargantuan linemen the Rebels have signed in the last two classes. He's still big at 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds, but he's also athletic and can play tackle, guard and center. That versatility should come in handy, especially at guard and center where Ole Miss has struggled to develop consistent depth the last two seasons.

Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or nsuss@gannett.com. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.