Ole Miss needed a rebuild in the trenches and over the weekend they added no less than three class of 2022 lineman prospects as head coach Lane Kiffin looks to find an answer when it comes to protecting his quarterback and getting to the opposition passer.
By Steve Wright
The first to commit was Jacarius Clayton – a 3-star defensive end out of Tupelo (Tupelo, MS) High School. Clayton is rated as the No. 488 player in the nation, the No. 45 DE, and the No. 13 player in the state of Mississippi over at the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Clayton was originally a Mississippi State pledge, but the Bulldogs wanted him to play on the offensive line. In his video below you can see how Clayton is clearly better suited as a defensive lineman – even given his unique size at 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds – for the position. He hits like a truck and that will serve him well in Oxford.
The other two recruits that Ole Miss added to their lines are on the offensive side of the ball. Preston Cushman is out of Calvary Christian (Clearwater, FL) High School and he is the No. 1280 prospect nationally, the No. 131 offensive tackle, and the No. 181 player from Florida. Timi Gagophien is out of Alief Hastings (Houston, TX) High School and is ranked as the No. 695 player, the No. 61 offensive tackle, and the No. 99 player in Texas. Both ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Both players are already over 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds and their videos show all the traits needed to be successful at the position at the college level. Both seem to have a nasty streak in the way they finish off blocks, they are both mobile for their size with more than adequate athleticism, and looking at how they are able to get downfield and work at the second level in the running game it is very obvious how Kiffin wants to shape his team.