All-Americans Headline 2012 Rebel Signing Class

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Trae Elston Photo courtesy ESPN.com
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Trae Elston Photo courtesy ESPN.com
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Press Conference | Photo Gallery | Signee Bios | Signee Map | Blog: New Rebels Announce On ESPN | NSD12 Central

Feb. 1, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. -- A trio of Under Armour All-Americans and some of the nation's best junior college players highlighted Hugh Freeze's first Ole Miss signing class on Wednesday.

Despite a new staff that had only three weeks on the road to recruit, the Rebels added immediate punch to the defense with All-Americans Trae Elston, Issac Gross and Channing Ward.

Meanwhile, the offense is bolstered by the national junior college player of the year in Bo Wallace and the MVP of the JUCO national championship game in Pierce Burton.

“We are really excited about our class,” said Freeze. “I will never stand before you any year and say that this a great class, because I think that is proven in time. I do think it is a very good class. We had to try to develop these relationships in the tough recruiting battles that you face in this conference. "

The Rebels pulled in prospects from six states, including Mississippi (six), Tennessee (four), Alabama (two), Georgia (two), California (one) and Florida (one).

By position, the Rebels welcome to the program four defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, three running backs, two defensive backs, two athletes, one quarterback and one wide receiver. 

“On the defensive line is where we hit the biggest home run,” said Freeze. “In this conference we have to win on the defensive line. To land Channing Ward and Issac Gross who are both Under Armor All-America guys was huge.  To get those guys as freshmen and get them ready to play is a huge get for us.”   

Ward will come to Oxford as arguably the top recruit in the class. The 6-4, 250-pound Aberdeen, Miss., native was ranked as a five-star recruit and No. 8 defensive end in the nation by Scout.com. His senior season at Aberdeen High School he produced an impressive 116 tackles and 16 QB sacks.

Gross, a product of powerhouse South Panola High School in nearby Batesville is ranked the No. 25 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com and Rivals.com. He also ranks the No. 1 player in Mississippi and No. 35 overall recruit by ESPN.com. 

“I have gotten to know Issac, as well as Channing, the best,” said Freeze.  “They have been around the most on unofficial trips and basketball games and other things. I am really impressed with both of those young men. These guys love to compete.”

Elston concluded his high school football career guiding Oxford High School (Ala.) to a 12-2 record and a spot in the Class 6A Semifinals. ESPN.com ranks the defensive back, the No. 10 safety in the nation and No. 12 recruit in the state of Alabama.  

Although the Rebels signed just one quarterback, Wallace joins the Ole Miss family with a national championship already under his belt. The 6-5, 210-pound quarterback led East Mississippi Junior College to the top of the junior college ranks last season and set NJCAA single-season records for passing yards (4,604), total yards (4,810) and touchdown passes (53) en route to National Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Burton also comes to Oxford after an outstanding junior college career. The Sacramento native helped City College of San Francisco to a perfect 12-0 season and a California Junior College state championship.  Prior to junior college, he played one year at San Jose State where he was coached by Mike MacIntyre, a former Ole Miss assistant.

Running back I’Tavius Mathers joins the Rebels after being named the The Tennessean’s Player of the Year as a junior and senior. As a senior, Mathers rushed for 2,253 yards and 27 touchdowns and was rated the No. 7 player in Tennessee by Rivals.com.

“We are thrilled with our class today, starting with the quarterback position,” said Freeze. “Getting the junior college player of the year in Bo Wallace was a big get for us. I'Tavius Mathers, who was the player of the year in the state of Tennessee, was also very big. He is probably the most complete back in the class. He has a lot of physical size to him and great speed.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- April 26

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more

    • Bramlett Helps Rebels Complete DH Sweep, Clinch Series

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Baseball

      Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy to Rep Ole Miss at Charity Golf Tournament

      Friday, April 24, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football Season Tickets Promo

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Stars Wars Night Intro

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Baseball

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20, 2015)

      Monday, April 20, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more

    • Rebels Continue Push to Host in NCAA's

      Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more