December 28, 2006

In-state players that got away from Ole Miss

Ole Miss had about 17 true freshmen who saw extensive playing time last season as Rebel head football coach Ed Orgeron put to good use his No. 16 rated 2006 recruiting class.

Orgeron dominated in-state recruiting for the most part. However, there were still several Mississippians who got away that would have made his class nothing short of phenomenal. Who are those players and how did they do during their freshman year after signing with another school?

Here's a look at a few players who would have added to Orgeron's class and how they fared this year.

Damion Fletcher may not be a name many fans have heard of unless they follow Southern Miss football - or the Charlie Conerly Award for the best collegiate player in Mississippi.

Fletcher, a two-star rated prospect, appeared to be an undersized (5-foot-10, 168 pounds) and slow (4.74 40 time at the Oxford Nike camp) running back but after signing with the Eagles, he quickly developed into a standout. Fletcher rushed for 1,375 on 256 carries and averaged over 110 yards a game. He caught 15 passes for another 114 yards. Against Florida, he had 89 yards in the first game of his career, showing he can play at any level regardless of the conference.

Ole Miss wasn't the only school that overlooked the Biloxi native as he only received offers from Southern Miss and Arkansas State. Fletcher also has a bowl game left on Jan. 7 where he can add to his totals. Fletcher was not ranked in the Mississippi Top 30 nor in any rankings for the state.

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