Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss lose recruiting coordinator Wesley McGriff to New Orleans Saints

Mississippi Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze leads his team onto the field before the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi Rebels defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 41-24. (Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports)

It is no secret that Ole Miss pulled off something of a recruiting miracle on National Signing Day. Not only did coach Hugh Freeze and his staff reel in the nation’s top recruit in Robert Nkemdiche, but the No. 1-ranked offensive lineman in Laremy Tunsil and the No. 1-overall wide receiver Laquon Treadwell also signed on to play in Oxford.

[Related: Watch the Ole Miss coaching staff go nuts when Nkemdiche makes his official announcement]

The program was in shambles prior to Freeze’s arrival, but the team’s ferocious approach to recruiting has the Rebels poised to move swiftly up the national polls both in 2013 and beyond.

However, the Mississippi Magic Bus sustained a flat tire recently with the departure of Wesley McGriff to the professional level. Not only was McGriff the team’s secondary coach, a position of need against the high-powered passing attacks of teams such as Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama, but he was the program’s recruiting coordinator as well. He will be coaching the defensive backs with the New Orleans Saints in 2013.

Again, we all know how important recruiting is for this Ole Miss regime. Nkemdiche himself, who allowed his recruitment process to become a spectacle as he deliberated between Ole Miss, LSU and Florida, voiced his sincere disappointment at McGriff’s departure via Twitter.

Even with McGriff on the staff, duplicating the success of the 2013 recruiting cycle would have been next to impossible.

While there is no doubt that Freeze will rebound, bringing someone (or several people) in to hit the recruiting trail, and hard. However, McGriff was the team’s top closer.

Without him, asking Freeze and Co. to bring in another slew of elite prospects might prove an impossible task.

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