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Hugh Freeze explains how he signed his head-turning recruiting class
Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss staff quickly became the talk of college football on National Signing Day after the Rebels closed like Mariano Rivera in his prime.
According to ESPN.com, Ole Miss inked the No. 1 overall player Robert Nkemdiche, No. 1 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, No. 1 offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, No. 1 junior college player Lavon Hooks and No. 2 safety Antonio Conner.
"It's kind of been the perfect storm for us," Freeze told CBSSports.com's recrutiting show. "I'm not foolish enough to believe we could have done this without these tie-ins."
Freeze was quick to credit those tie-ins in helping the Rebels land Treadwell (whose best friend is already on the roster), Nkemdiche (whose brother is already on the roster), Conner (who hails from Batesville, 25 miles from Oxford) and Hooks (who committed to Ole Miss out of high school).
"Laquon and Robert have been recruiting behind the scenes for us for a long time now," said Freeze. "Tony Conner was right down the road. They did a great job helping us with Laremy."
Natural in-roads gave Ole Miss a great head start, but the key was getting the Rebels' top targets on campus at the same time and selling them on the future of Rebels football.
"Here's what we want our vision to be. Let's do it together. We need all of you guys to get there," Freeze told the recruits.
Ole Miss' success comes hand-in-hand with plenty of naysayers crying foul, as Freeze is more than aware. In his words, Ole Miss' success "rocked the apple cart".
"They need to come and visit," Freeze suggested. "Critics are the same people that say Oxford is the No. 1 college town in the nation and the Grove is the No. 1 campus spot in the nation. People can criticize me all they want, I know we did it with integrity."
That media & advertising value keeps growing by the minute.......three & a half hour commercial for #OleMiss.Great day for our University!— Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) February 6, 2013
How good a Signing Day is Ole Miss having? It's the talk of the Miami Heat locker room this morning. Seriously.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 6, 2013