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Sting Factor: Elijah Sabbatini decommits from Ole Miss

Elijah Sabbatini
Elijah Sabbatini (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

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THE STORYLINE 

Elijah Sabbatini decommitted from Ole Miss on Monday. It was not expected. But it definitely hurts the Rebels’ recruiting class in numerous ways.

First, Sabbatini was an in-state prospect from Biloxi who made his commitment to Ole Miss in late June and looked like a nice local pickup for coach Lane Kiffin and his staff.

And he looked like an underrated steal in the class. The three-star safety had picked up an offer from Georgia earlier this month, but Sabbatini was not receiving a ton of other major Power Five interest through the fall.

This is where his recruitment gets interesting: It does not sound like Ole Miss will be out of Sabbatini’s recruitment and this could be shaping up to be a battle between the in-state Rebels and Georgia, the connection there being assistant coach Matt Luke, who helped recruit Sabbatini to Oxford in the first place.

Georgia does not lose many recruiting battles. But an in-state Mississippi kid could have opened his recruitment to look at all his options, only to realize his first choice was his best choice.

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LOCAL REACTION

Losing Sabbatini's commitment is a tough blow for this class. He is an underrated prospect who has an opportunity to crack the two-deep upon his arrival in Oxford. I don't think the Rebels are out of it one bit, but Luke is doing his best to get him to Athens. This feels like a Georgia versus Ole Miss battle, for sure. - Zach Berry, RebelGrove.com

Sting Factor: 7

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NATIONAL REACTION

Sabbatini is a big loss for Ole Miss as an in-state kid and an excellent defensive back who not only covers but hits. Georgia is tough to fend off, but the Rebels are still in this. Right now, however, it stings badly. - Mike Farrell, Rivals national recruiting director

Sting Factor: 8