A strong, confident first impression can be a key to success in life. They are especially important in the world of college football recruiting. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze made a big first impression with the coach of a player who is officially visiting Oxford this weekend.
Mike Rumph, the head coach at American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla., met Freeze for the first time last week when he came by to check in on his speedy wideout, Isaiah McKenzie, and his standout quarterback, Torrance Gibson, who is rated as one of the top players for the 2015 class.
Rumph played at University of Miami, won a national title with the Hurricanes in 2001 and then went on to be a first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers. Rumph’s been around a lot of name coaches — he was signed at Miami by Butch Davis in 1998 and he played for Steve Mariucci with the 49ers and Joe Gibbs at Washington later — so his praise for Freeze, and the way he handled himself at the initial meeting, has added significance.
“Calm, cool and collected. I like him. He is the first coach that showed up here by himself,” Rumph said with a laugh. “That impressed me a lot. He’s just very personable and down to earth. I really like him. I think it says a lot about a man that he didn’t need an army with him. He came in, he was deliberate in what he wanted. He offered to lend a hand to whatever we might need here and then he went about his way.”
Rumph added that Freeze’s style was similar to what impressed his five-star running back, Sony Michel, about Georgia and coach Mark Richt.
“I think that’s what impressed Sony about Georgia was they said we’re here, we’re Georgia and that’s how Coach Freeze came across to me in the way he talked about Ole Miss,” Rumph said.
Don’t miss other updates on the 2014 Ole Miss football recruiting class. (January 24, 2014)