This week was quite an eye opener for both both Ole Miss and MSU fans alike with regards to the sanctity of one Hugh Freeze. The red and blue spin doctors will try to tell you there’s nothing to see here and it’s just not a big deal….but it is.
You could take a poll about which SEC coach is most committed to their faith and without a doubt the two with the most votes would far and away be Mark Richt and Hugh Freeze. But there are two distinctly different ways these two let their faith be known. Richt tells you about his personal devotion and is committed to helping others off the field. Freeze sells you on his “faith-based program” and shoots videos of himself reciting Bible verses to the players. There’s always something curious about a person who does the latter.
Exhibit A: If Freeze’s “faith-based recruiting” includes giving his testimony to prospects I am fine with that. More power to him. But when he uses it as a crutch to get ahead, I have a problem with it. And that’s exactly what he’s been doing – claiming Dan Mullen is not a Christian to a number of recruits. This has been going on since the class of 2012 when he told one of our prized commits something to the effect of ‘I fear for your soul if you go to Mississippi State’.
Just because Dan Mullen doesn’t parade his faith around town in no way indites him as a non-Christian. Like Mark Richt, he prefers to let his actions tell the story of his faith. Like this week when he kick started the Mullen Family 36 Foundation that helps children in need. I guess you could say that doesn’t prove his Christianity, so let’s check his twitter account where he has shared some inspiration Bible verses recently.
Exhibit B: This week news leaked out about the May incident involving five current or former Ole Miss football players using marijuana. Among those involved were former starting QB, Randall Mackey, current #2 QB Barry Brunetti and the ultra talented but troubled Nick Brassell.
So why are we just now hearing about this? There were whispers in the MSU community about this incident but it of course was buried by the OM gestapo. Amazingly the small town of Oxford, MS kept this quiet and Hugh Freeze kept it on the down low so as to not disturb his recruiting act.
Exhibit C: Ole Miss used Nick Brassell to get Tony Conner. Brassell played at Ole Miss his true freshman season (2011), but the over/under for total class attendance was 5. Conner, a 5-star S/LB hybrid was from the same high school, South Panola, as Brassell and were good friends.
After a checkered past Brassell got into trouble again in January but Freeze still kept him on board. Plus, Brassell had 4 stars next to his name that allowed for Ole Miss to sneak into the top 10 of recruiting rankings. Now that time has elapsed and Brassell has gotten into even more trouble not to mention his grades, he can be let go.
Exhibit D: Who could forget the foundation of Freeze’s “faith-based recruiting”? We all remember that night at the Library. Money, girls, jirations of the hips. Not exactly rooted in scripture.
Exhibit E: This one is just for good measure – the Ole Miss epidemic of not being able to develop high school quarterbacks continues. With the announcement that Maikhail Miller will transfer, it’s just another in the long line of high school QBs that won’t make it in Oxford. They haven’t had an non-transfer QB starter since 2005.
Miller was no slouch – a 3-star from Fulton, MS who Yancy Porter said “was the best QB since Jason Campbell to come out of Mississippi”. Well, I guess that title will be retained by Tyler Russell. This surely isn’t good news for incoming freshman Ryan Buchanan.