A strong tradition and membership in the football powerhouse Southeastern Conference enable Ole Miss to attract top high school talent from all over the country. The 2013 signing year included the consensus no. 1 player, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, and ESPN's top-rated offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Recent years have seen a rise in the University of Mississippi's national prominence, thanks to the recruiting ability of head coach Hugh Freeze. Freeze took over prior to the 2012 season, with Ole Miss coming off a 618 record over the previous two campaigns, which led to the dismissal of head coach Houston Nutt.
Freeze made an immediate impact, using a class rated 40th nationally to guide the team to a 7-6 record and Compass Bowl victory. The next season saw Freeze lure Nkemdiche and Tunsil away from their home states of Georgia and Florida as well as recruiting receiver Laquon Treadwell from Illinois en route to an 8-5 finish and a win in the Music City Bowl. Helped by a class ranked 19th-best in the nation, the 2014 Rebels finished 9-4, climbing as high as no. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings. Freeze's most recent class of recruits, as of May 2015, is considered to be the 21st best out of 129 teams.
Other top recruits in the program's history include running back Deuce McAllister (1997-2000), quarterback Eli Manning (2000-2003) and linebacker Patrick Willis (2003-2006).