Hugh Freeze’s recruiting strategy raising eyebrows

There’s an old saying that goes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” and in the case of new Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, he takes that saying quite literally. The man who proudly boasts of his role in the movie “The Blind Side” also isn’t afraid to drum up some excitement on the recruiting trail… by offering just about every high school football player in the country with two arms and two legs.

Ok, so that may be a bit of a slight exaggeration, but on Tuesday morning the Clarion-Ledger down in Jackson, MS did a fascinating piece on Freeze’s very liberal recruiting practices. In an effort to drum up interest in their program, Ole Miss has offered a staggering 246 football players college scholarships for the fall, which, for the math majors out there, is more than 1000 percent higher than the NCAA allotted 25 per year.

However, if you think that there isn’t a method to Freeze’s madness, well there is. In the hyper-localized areas in and around Mississippi (specifically Alabama, Louisiana and Memphis), Freeze and his staff are much more liberal in handing out their scholarships. According to the Clarion-Ledger, Ole Miss has offered just 13 high school football players in Mississippi, while they’ve offered 57 in Florida alone.
Freeze explains why:

“You’re more careful here, localized, to not just throw offers out,” Freeze said. “Because it’s not as easy. These relationships here, they are so vital to us. One in California, not that they’re not important, but it’s a different dynamic.”

Simply put, if you’re Freeze, you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you, and in this case, the hand that feeds him is undoubtedly Mississippi.

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.