When National Signing Day began on Wednesday, Ole Miss wasn’t necessarily expected to have one of the top 10 recruiting classes in the country. When the dust settled, Hugh Freeze’s class had made some folks’ top five. It led many, particularly on Twitter, to wonder just how it all could have happened, but Freeze isn’t simply just sitting around letting folks rub his program in the dirt.
Hugh Freeze joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his response to those questioning his great recruiting class, dealing with recruiting at the 11th hour, exactly what goes on in those final moments and what there is to sell to recruits about Oxford.
Some folks have wondered how Ole Miss had such a good class and you responded on Twitter. Why?:
“We’re running a program with integrity, and if there’s things out there that people know about, I want to know. I know that our staff is doing it the right way. I just want to know, if they have something, bring it. But if they’re going to just make random accusations that have no basis, you get frustrated and tired by that, of course. It’s sort of what our society has devolved to, which is disappointing. We had a plan, we executed that plan, we did it with integrity. What they don’t look at is the natural tie-ins that we had. And I’m not foolish enough to believe we’d be sitting here if we didn’t have those. … I’ve heard of all of that, and when you have success, some of your competitors, they’ll do anything to get in the way of that. People think they know what our ceiling is, but that’s not defined by people outside of Ole Miss, it’s defined by us. And frankly, we’re not there yet.”
Did you have to deal with a lot of other programs trying to snipe your recruits?:
“We did — three schools in particular. I have great respect for all the schools we go against and don’t think that our coaches even talk about other schools. They better not. That’s not our plan; that’s not the way we’re going about it. I think it actually worked in our favor in a few instances where families just got tired of the negativity. I don’t think it’s the large portion of schools that do that, but we did certainly experience some pretty brutal attacks in the last 48 hours from several schools. It’s unfortunate; I think it’s sad for our sport when we decide, when coaches decide, that that’s the route they’ll take.”
Explain more about what goes on there:
“All of the sudden we start, let’s say we’re trying to land an offensive tackle, and all of the sudden we get reported on other message boards that we’ve sent offers to these other tackles out there, making it appear that we’re not sincere with the one we really want. It’s a total fabrication; we haven’t sent papers to anyone else. You fight to correct those reports, and certainly with all the things that are swirling around our success in recruiting, you get people that make up their own stories. … It’s definitely not part of the sport I enjoy.”
On the things Ole Miss has to offer:
“The same media that voted The Grove the No. 1 tailgate experience in America and Oxford the safest college town in America and the most beautiful, obviously there’s a lot that we have to sell once we get them on campus. Those same people will hopefully recognize that we have a good product to sell here if we can get them here and convince them to buy into our new vision of doing something new and fresh instead of just helping someone else continue in what they’ve already done.”