OT: A closer look at Hugh Freeze

Submitted by MGoVoldemort on February 6th, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Hugh Freeze has managed to reel in the greatest recruiting class in the history of Ole Miss Football.  This is an undeniable truth that the country is still trying to wrap its head around. Like everyone else, I want to know how a recruiting coup like this happened to a program seemingly headed no where.

A quick glance at Hugh Freeze's coaching record screams mediocrity, and a coach that hardly seems to be qualified to coach in the sec. Now, overall record isn't everything, because Brady Hoke's overall record before coming to Michigan wasn't world beating, but they were of course extenuating circumstances. (see taking over a horrid ball state program) His coaching resume includes a fairly successful high school program, Lambuth (yes Lambuth), Arkansas State, and various titles at Ole Miss. Nothing against those "fine" institutions, but they hardly seem like the type of schools on the resume of a coach who could bring in a class of this magnitude.

A closer glance at his High School program, could give us his credibility among certain recruits. As some, or most of you may know, he was the high school coach of Michael Oher, and was depicted in the book/ movie "The Blind Side". While seemingly unimportant to the MgoBlog community, that could resonate with a lot of kids, and a lot of parents in the recruiting circles. 

Still, his fame not withstanding, it would hardly seem to validate his ability to pull this kind of class down to a school like Ole Miss. Not to mention a highly publicized racial incident after the election this past November, and the flood of top recruits to Ole Miss seems crazy. I'm trying to look at this with a impartial viewpoint, but this top rated class at Ole Miss just doesn't add up. 


Does this guy look like a coach that screams great recruiter?


My name ... is Tim

February 6th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

Sure, let me use my subpoena powers to access Ole Miss' donor list and then subpoena their bank accounts so I can come up with something beyond circumstantial evidence. Oh wait, I can't. And neither can the NCAA!

I didn't state "Ole Miss is definitely paying their players", I merely pointed out that the circumstances seemed suspicious to me. They are. If they aren't to you, great, you're entitled to that, but I don't think I'm alone in stating that the circumstances at play here raise a few eyebrows.


February 6th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

Hugh was just on SVP and went on to say that Nkemdiche's brother and Treadwell's best friend were the main reason they even had a chance at those recruits. Not trying to defend but just give his side of the argument.


February 6th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

the same division with Alabama/Auburn/LSU/Arkansas and now TAM, there's a lot of pressure to keep up with the joneses, to the point where bending the rules seems acceptable.


February 6th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

You are making yourself look uninformed, dude... TAMU is legit, and players - esp. in Houston and all the Spread Teams in TX ... like 70% of them ... love that Sumlin and Kingsbury (before he left) have Texas wired and they are in the SEC... Beat Bama - the school is hot right now and that's why kids are playing there.  It's not because of someone cheating... Stop with the lame analysis...


February 6th, 2013 at 2:39 PM ^

Last year they had the #40 overall class. They've had 3 five star kids in the last six years, now they have 2 of the top 5 kids in the country. This year they pull the #1 offensive tackle, the #1 wide receiver, and the #1 overall prospect.

But, but, they have women there!

Have you seen there campus!



February 6th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

keeping these guys away from Bama, FLA, tosu, etc. is great.  If it's dirty it will come out some day, but I'm all for someone else down there stepping on some toes.  And, he may be a good recruiter, but time will tell if he can coach.




February 6th, 2013 at 2:51 PM ^

It is interesting, to say the least - the average Rivals star rating of his sole class at Arkansas State (as head coach anyway - he was the OC in 2010, I believe) was 2.32, but then I am not familiar enough with the Sun Belt to know if where that would stand, relatively speaking. The 2012 class at Ole Miss, however, rated a 2.95 average, and this year's signing class sits at 3.56, which is nearly 20% better than the previous year. That's something I don't know that I would ever expect at Ole Miss, a jump like that. They did get some high-profile vebal commits early, I believe, but they are behind only the traditional favorites in the SEC  for class ranking now. It's a huge jump for them.


February 6th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

with their state of the art football facilities and world class stadium, Ole Miss Alumni will be happy to see all the donations they have made are finally paying off in top of the chart recruits. I forgot to mention the head coach, clearly well known throughout the NCAA, he is absolutely a no brainer to commits across the country. I personally wonder why they have not landed the #1 class in the country. The South has risen again praise the lord.


February 6th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

While I think it's possible that they're paying recruits, I don't find it probable. Let's break down their recruiting class. Of their 27 commits, 16 are consensus (Note: when I say consensus in this post I'm referring to the 247 composite rankings) 3-stars. Of their 7 consensus 4-stars, four (two of them Jucos) are from Mississippi, a state notorious for keeping it's talent home despite rarely having a decent instate program. Now let's look at the four 5-stars that are getting everyone's panties in a bunch. One (Tony Connor) is a local kid, Nkemdiche's brother plays for Ole Miss, and another (LaQuon Treadwell) has a good friend and former teammate (Anthony Standifer) who also currently plays for Ole Miss. So all in all, there are three highly rated players, out of 27 total commits, who don't have an immediately obvious "excuse" for choosing Ole Miss. Now considering that Freeze came in to the job with a reputation as an excellent recruiter and the fact that recruiting can be pretty momentum-based, I find the evidence for any cheating to be circumstantial at best.


February 6th, 2013 at 3:57 PM ^

This is exactly what I want to see.  In this day and age it is much easier to get the ESPN 10 second overview.  

1. They had a great class WTF!?!?!  

2. Let's hurl insults.


If I could get you to break down the Lions salary cap situation that would be much appreciated.   All I get on the talk shows and blogs is LOL Lions when I think if you remove all the Free Agents from the Cap Number it is much different.   


February 6th, 2013 at 9:53 PM ^

I agree to an extent, but the state of Mississippi produces a good-but-not-great amount of D1 talent each year, and Ole Miss has been a bit of a crater the past 3 years.  As noted in other posts, this was a school that pulled in decent classes but nothing like a top-3 class.  I agree that there is no real proof that anything illegal went down, and the only real smoke is Treadwell's inexplicable Instagram picture, but there is a natural order to things with college sports, and when a team with a checkered history shows up and crashes the party, people become suspicious.


February 6th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

you go somewhere where you can play early, be highly visible and has some players in the NFL. these guys are going to play early, often, and frequently in games against top talent. and their biggest alum has won 2 superbowls in the league's biggest city.


February 6th, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

Girlfriend from high school attends ole miss now...says that they treat the football players real nice down there, if you catch my drift...CJK5H 'sippi style


February 6th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

In the world of recruiting, I'd say this is a huge outlier as far as recruiting class performance vs expectations.

Sure, MSU pulls in some 4 stars when we're down or random school X gets some better players in some years but what Ole Miss has done given both their track record of on-the-field performance and past recruiting history is just too abnormal for me to be able to accept it as is.


February 6th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

I'm a coach in Memphis ... at the rival school of the one where Freeze coached here.  I've posted on here before, addressing unfair statements about the (Barrett) Jones family. By the way, the last (3rd) of the Jones boys (a LB) signed with Alabama today. That's 3 in a row, and I've been blessed to coach them. Considering that, I've gotten to see a lot of Hugh Freeze over the years, and have gotten sick of the lies that the movie created about the whole Michael Oher story.

Hugh Freeze is a charasmatic fellow. He's always been one. He's got an ego; he loves to win ... and will do what it takes to make it happen. Machiavellian. He loves trick plays / smoke and mirrors. He talks a big game, and he gets the best athletes he can find and then enables them to believe they can win. He's had success for that reason. 

I don't doubt, though that there are things that are way out of bounds in the recruiting here. I had friends that sat in the classes he used to teach. He flirted with the high school girls, was disloyal to players that didn't perform, humiliated guys that didn't play football, and didn't give a rip about his acadmic responsibilities (and, I don't see reason to doubt the consistency of the statements I heard). There comes a point where you just have to call the kettle black: I just don't think he's a good guy. But, because of his background, he can sure talk like it, and he'll do what it takes to get the athletes. he knows how to get the players, and generally speaking, he's able to produce with them. That's been true of most places he goes. I hate that, because I don't care for him much, and I certainly don't have a stomach for Ole Miss. I'm thankful that we have a coach in Hoke that is the anti- Hugh Freeze.