Will Ole Miss be able to turn offseason successes into on-field product?

Published 1:38 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019

One day after getting a commitment from the top quarterback in the state of Alabama, the Rebels pulled another recruit from Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tiger country.

Ole Miss got another four-star commitment on Tuesday, in wide receiver Kris Abrams-Draine of Spanish Fort, Ala. Their fourth four-star commitment for the 2020 class, according to 247 Sports, Draine played quarterback, receiver and defensive back in 2018. He’ll be a receiver at Ole Miss, a position where he caught 44 balls for 584 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior.

With yet another win in the big month of June, Ole Miss now sports the nation’s No. 14 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports. This marks the first time Ole Miss has ranked in the top 20 since 2016’s No. 5 class, which included Shea Patterson, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Greg Little. Yet, things have improved pretty significantly since Matt Luke took over as the interim head coach in 2017.

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Ole Miss finished 31st in recruiting in 2017 and 32nd in 2018 before jumping up to the nation’s No. 22 class this past year. Now, they’re on pace for the best class in the Matt Luke era. But will those summer wins translate to the fall?

At some point, winning on the recruiting front has to show itself up on the field, or changes will be made. That No. 5 recruiting class from 2016 has yet to see a single winning season. Even without NCAA restrictions, there’s a good chance Ole Miss wouldn’t have been bowl eligible in two of the last three years.

Regardless of what happens this year on the field, there’s potentially a big wrinkle in Luke’s future. The University of Mississippi will have a new athletic director this upcoming year. This may not happen until later in 2019, as the University still needs to hire a Chancellor first. So come 2020, Matt Luke is going to have a new boss, and it could be a new boss who is demanding more on-field returns.

If the recruiting trail victories continue, it seems only fair to let Luke see out the impressive classes he’s helping bring in. One thing is for sure. Someone needs to find a way to turn the recruiting wins in June into wins on-field in October.