The lone in-state member of the signing class is Robert Clark, who originally
inked with Ole Miss in the class of 2004. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound guard is currently
attending Mt. Zion Christian Academy prep school in Durham, N.C.
A four-year high school starter, Clark spent two seasons each at Callaway and
Lanier High Schools in Jackson. He averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists
over those four years and earned All-State distinction three times. HoopScoop
Online ranks Clark as the 52nd-best prep prospect in the country.
"It's always special for our program to sign a young man from the state
of Mississippi," said Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes. "To add a big
guard with the talent and ability of Bobby gives us an opportunity to match
up with some of the nation's top teams. We are grateful to he and his family
for the loyalty they have shown to Ole Miss, and we're looking forward to adding
Bobby to this family."
Carl Swanigan is tabbed the nation's 10th-best senior center according to Rivals.com
and among the top 30 overall prospects by HoopScoop Online. The 6-foot-9, 340-pounder
was the 2004 Utah 5A Player of the Year, racking up 17.8 points and 14.6 rebounds
per game. Swanigan led Hunter High School to the school's first state title
in 2004, nailing the game-winning free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining in
the championship game.
He spent the summer playing for AAU team Blessed IJN in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and
has remained in the Hoosier state to complete his final year of high school
ball at New Creation Chapel in Richmond.
"We're very thankful to add the first commitment of this class in Carl,"
said Barnes. "He has great size and athleticism, but he can also shoot
the three and handle the ball real well for a guy as big as he is. We feel his
versatility will help us put a big lineup on the floor. Carl has a huge upside."
Marquis Young was deemed the fifth-best center and 21st overall prospect at
last summer's Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey, which hosted some of the nation's
top prep talent. HoopScoop Online lists Young as the 43rd-best prospect.
Beginning his third year as a starter at Austin Community Academy High School,
the 6-foot-9, 275-pound Young posted over 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks
per game as a junior and was named All-Chicago and All-Conference.
"Marquis is a big skilled player with great hands," Barnes said.
"He had a great summer. He understands the game very well, and we feel
his best basketball is ahead of him."
This trio joins a large and celebrated Ole Miss signing class, which is heavy
on forwards. The Rebels picked up high school seniors Trey Hampton (Hoover,
Ala.) and Xavier Webb (Atwood, Tenn.) on Wednesday and added Mike Smith (Jacksonville,
Rivals.com is rating Ole Miss' class No. 16 in college basketball, while HoopScoop
Online has it fourth-best in their latest ranking. Six different states are
represented in the class, and five of the signees are frontcourt players.
Include Auburn transfer Dwayne Curtis, and the Rebels will add four 6-foot-9
players to their lineup in 2005-06. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Curtis is ineligible
for the upcoming season, but the 6-foot-9, 290-pound sophomore center may begin
playing in the 2005-06 campaign with three years of eligibility remaining.
Signing Date Tidbits
The Rebels are waiting on the paper work for current commitment, Clarence
Walker will be placed at a prep school next fall.