football Edit

Fact or Fiction: Kamarion Franklin, Caleb Cunningham, Colin Simmons

National recruiting analyst Cole Patterson tackles three Mid-South recruiting topics with Neal McCready of, Jack Byers of and Julie Boudwin of


MORE FACT OR FICTION: Georgia will finish with top 2024 recruiting class

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer portal player ranking | Transfer portal team ranking | Transfer Tracker | Message board | Team ranking FAQs

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State



1. Kamarion Franklin is a must-get for Ole Miss.

Kamarion Franklin
Kamarion Franklin (

McCready: FACT. I hate saying that any one person is a must-get, but a five-star defensive player from north Mississippi that's a clear priority for Pete Golding and Ole Miss is as much of a must-get as it can be. If Ole Miss is ever going to compete for a national championship, they have to land these kinds of recruits in their backyard. They did it last year in Suntarine Perkins. Kamarion Franklin is what I would consider a must-get.

Patterson: FACT. Franklin is the kind of prospect that the Rebels have to find a way to land if they are going to take the next step in the SEC West. Not only is Franklin right in Oxford's backyard, but Franklin is also a five-star recruit at a key position in the trenches. Ole Miss has had no trouble selling skill players. Franklin would give them a signature win along the line of scrimmage. Lane Kiffin and staff can still have a successful class without the defensive end; however, Franklin would give Ole Miss an opportunity to advance further in the conference.



2. Landing JJ Harrell and Braylon Burnside proves that Mississippi State is a legitimate contender to land Caleb Cunningham in 2025.

Caleb Cunningham
Caleb Cunningham (

Byers: FACT. Landing a receiver the caliber of Caleb Cunningham will be a tall task, but the addition of former Bulldog and Tupelo native Chad Bumphis to the coaching staff has put them in a better spot than they were before. Bumphis was crucial in getting JJ Harrell and Braylon Burnside in the boat, and I expect Cunningham to be his top priority in 2025.

Patterson: FACT. The hiring of Bumphis has already paid off on the recruiting trail with the commitments of Harrell and Burnside, two top-flight prospects in the Magnolia State. Bumphis knows the program and state very well, and he's wasted no time in connecting with priority targets. That, combined with the fact that Cunningham is just a half-hour drive from Starkville, will put the Bulldogs in prime position to add the elite receiver in next year's cycle. A strong debut season for Zach Arnett would go a long way in keeping the pass catcher home.



3. Despite pushes from Texas and Oklahoma, LSU should not be counted out for Colin Simmons and Caden Durham. 

Colin Simmons
Colin Simmons

Boudwin: FACT. I wouldn't count out LSU for both Duncanville stars Colin Simmons and Caden Durham. The Tigers have been a major factor in both recruitments and both recruits have been on visits to Baton Rouge multiple times. With Durham, many believed he would commit to Oklahoma following his most recent trip but instead made a weekend unofficial visit back to LSU. Frank Wilson, the LSU running backs coach, has made it known to Durham that he is their top RB priority and the only back they want to add in this class while OU seems to be looking at a multi-back class. With Simmons, LSU will continue to push and make it known how much they need him with the real possibility of playing time in Year 1. We'll obviously have to wait and see how both of these recruits decide to handle their recruitments in the fall but the Tigers are still in the picture.

Patterson: FACT. I currently favor Texas for Simmons and Oklahoma for Durham, but the Tigers cannot be counted out for either elite Duncanville, Texas recruit. Simmons is still set to officially visit LSU later on in the process and Durham is also a top priority for the staff. Both have made trips to Baton Rouge this offseason and really like what the staff has to offer. The longer that each takes in committing, the better for LSU's chances.