An Open Letter to Laremy Tunsil and any Recruit Considering Ole Miss
Word on the interweb street is that Laremy Tunsil is somewhere between a “heavy lean” to Ole Miss (according to Rusty Mansell, Georgia’s inside man at 247Sports) and a “done deal” for the Rebels (according to Scout.com Director of Souting Scott Kennedy). Is this official? No. Even players saying something is official doesn’t make it official. Could this change? Certainly. But is this accurately representing the current recruiting battle for the nation’s top offensive lineman? Yes.
In light of that I’d like to address any elite recruit who is considering the University of Mississippi over the University of Georgia:
First and foremost congratulations on your continued athletic success and the opportunities that your God-given abilities and hard work are about to afford you. Receiving a football scholarship to the University of Georgia is one of the highest honors a gridiron star can claim, and not everybody gets the opportunity to play for Ole Miss either.
That being said, I’m afraid you’re about to make an egregious mistake. And as someone who once downloaded a Taking Back Sunday album, I know a thing or two about making mistakes as a teenager. You have the opportunity to play football and attend classes at either the University of Georgia or the University of Mississippi, and I’m afraid you’re about to make the wrong decision.
Let’s talk academics first, because that is what matters most to your mother. The University of Georgia ranks as the nation’s 63rd best University according to U.S. News and World Report. Ole Miss comes in at number 151. Not only that, but if you’re looking for the most valuable scholarship offer consider that Ole Miss’s in-state tuition is only about 63% of UGA’s in-state cost, and on an out-of-state basis Ole Miss is $12,000 cheaper. Put simply: A full scholarship from the University of Georgia is worth more. Literally.
Now, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the legendary coeds at Ole Miss. I’m sure there are plenty of attractive women there. But, keep in mind that only 54.6% of the Rebel student body is female; 57.7% of UGA’s student body is female. Furthermore, with a much larger undergraduate enrollment (26,373 for UGA, 15,346 at Ole Miss) you are actually getting 81.63% more women in Athens than you are in Oxford. And guess what! Neither school can offer more than 85 scholarships. So would you rather go to UGA where each scholarship football player is represented by 179 potentially beautiful coeds or the University of Mississippi where each player is represented by only 99 females? There’s a right answer here, and that right answer resides in Athens.
From what I understand football is also important to you. You have two winning programs to choose from in that regard. Ole Miss has won a lot of games – 628 to be exact. That’s a whole lot. Now, that number is 132 fewer than the number that Georgia has won, but that gap could be made up quite easily over the next decade or so. Ole Miss just needs 10 seasons of perfection (14-0, winning SEC and a Bowl Game) to coincide with Georgia losing every single game for an entire decade. At that point Ole Miss will have won more games than Georgia. I’m sure the gap between Ole Miss’s all-time winning percentage of .559 and Georgia’s winning percentage of .647 isn’t as large as it seems either. Sure, Georgia’s winning percentage since 1869 ranks 13th in the nation and Ole Miss comes in at 50th, but what does that really mean?
Who am I kiddng? That means a lot. And so does the chart below:
It should also be noted that Georgia is 31-12 against Ole Miss all-time and that the Rebels are winless against the Bulldogs in their last nine tries.
So what about the state of what’s going on now? Ole Miss had a very good season in 2012, didn’t they? The Rebels went 7-6 overall and 3-5 in the conference, losing to Georgia 10-37 along the way. The Dawgs were a couple yards shy of getting to embarrass Notre Dame in the National Championship game.
But Ole Miss is heading the right way thanks to Hugh Freeze. That might be true. And by all accounts he’s a great guy. But in 2008 Freeze was coaching at Lambuth University – a school that is no longer accredited (seriously). Mark Richt was preparing Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno for the NFL. In 2004 Freeze was coaching high school football. In 2004 Mark Richt was disappointed to not win the SEC.
To be fair, Freeze is putting together one heck of a recruiting class. And, you might even be part of that very class that is currently ranked 11th by Rivals.com. Or you could be part of the class that is currently ranked 10th by committing to the University of Georgia.
I’ve seen Ole Miss put together some nice recruiting classes before. The Rebels put up three consecutive top-20 classes (according to Rivals) beginning in 2009. Yes sir, some talent came to Oxford. How much talent? Enough talent to earn two bowl game appearances in four years. Fifty percent of the time Ole Miss makes a bowl…everytime.
Are you concerned about early playing time? Ole Miss has a proven track record of breakout performances by freshmen. Last year freshmen contributed almost 6.5% of Ole Miss’s total offensive production and newcomers scored three of Ole Miss’s 49 total TDs. Those numbers must be good, right? If you go to Ole Miss you will play immediately. Maybe.
But what about Georgia? Do freshmen ever get to play for those really good teams in Athens? Freshmen at UGA accounted for 41.6% of the Dawgs’ offense in 2012 (which was the best in school history) and scored 30 of the team’s 69 TDs.
The bottom line is this: going to Ole Miss would be a mistake. Georgia is the better school with the better football tradition, the better coaching staff, more momentum and a proven track record of letting freshmen contribute immediately.
Do the right thing for you.
Go with the Dawgs.
P.S.: Have you tried the meal plan at Georgia yet? You’re going to love it.
P.P.S.: When you tried the meal plan were you at Snelling Dining Hall? Did you get to hug Ms. Sandra? You’re going to love her.