Ole Miss baseball’s recruiting class tabbed as nation’s best

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

The first-ever No. 1 recruiting class nationally for Ole Miss in any sport goes to the baseball team.

Baseball America ranked the Rebels’ 2016 signing class as the nation’s best Wednesday. The 18-member class was ranked No. 2 nationally by Perfect Game and Collegiate baseball before Baseball America gave Ole Miss the historical top billing.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by Baseball America as having the top recruiting class in the country,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “This is an outstanding class put together by our recruiting coordinator, Carl Lafferty, and assistant coach Mike Clement. The No. 1 ranking is a testament of their hard work in signing talented players that value education and want to experience college baseball at a high level by playing in the Southeastern Conference.”

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The class includes eight players who received All-America honors at the high school or junior college level and stayed fully intact despite five players being selected in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. There’s plenty of local flavor with former Oxford High standouts Jason Barber, Houston Roth, Grae Kessinger and Thomas Dillard among the group.

Kessinger, a shortstop, and Dillard, a switch-hitting catcher, played in the Under Armour All-American Game last summer while Barber, a right-handed pitcher, is the two-time defending Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year.

The class is comprised of 15 freshmen and three junior college signees.

D1Baseball.com will release its national rankings at a later date.