Ole Miss protecting its borders

Ole Miss has taken it on the chin from Mississippi State the last two seasons on the field.

But this recruiting class is a sign that Houston Nutt and the Rebels aren't going away quietly.

Heralded receiver Nick Brassell has signed with Ole Miss, which gives the Rebels five of the top eight prospects in the state this year, according to ESPN. Of the top 15 prospects in the state, Ole Miss landed eight. That's compared to three by Mississippi State.

Losing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to Texas hurt the Bulldogs, who obviously had a terrific season that ended with a resounding Gator Bowl win over Michigan. As we've learned, though, on-the-field success doesn't always translate into a stellar year on the recruiting trail.

Of the Ole Miss signees, linebacker C.J. Johnson and Brassell were both committed to Mississippi State at one point.

The Bulldogs were shut out of the top 5 prospects in the state. Three of those -- receiver Tobias Singleton, Johnson and Brassell -- signed with Ole Miss. Cornerback Jermaine Whitehead signed with Auburn, while tight end Malcolm Faciane signed with Alabama.