4-star RB Akylin Dear commits to Ole Miss Rebels

On3 imageby:Chad Simmons03/30/24

ChadSimmons_

Schools across the SEC footprint wanted Quitman (Miss.) four-star running back Akylin Dear. But nobody more so than Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss Rebels.

Dear has been a top target for the Rebels since he was offered last February. He’s been to Oxford on numerous occasions and was visited by Ole Miss coaches at the end of January and met Lane Kiffin for the first time.

Dear returned earlier this week for a visit to Oxford and locked in a commitment with the in-state Rebels.

“I’ve been feeling like Ole Miss is home. And I’m ready now,” he told On3.

Asked when he the Rebels became the team to beat, he added: “Since during football season. I told them on this trip. It’s about how they use their running backs — in the passing game, in the running game and how they take care of them.”

Rebels beat out a host of SEC rivals to land Dear

Alabama, Florida, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M were among his other major suitors. But the opportunity to play for Kiffin, Derrick Smith and the Rebels’ staff was too good to pass up.

“Those are my guys,” he said. “Me, Coach Kiffin, and Coach Smith — we’re locked in. Those are my guys.”

Kiffin himself has made Dear feel like a top priority as one of the state’s elite prospects, and he wants to be coached by the Rebels’ head man.

“He’s a great guy. I love what he’s doing for Mississippi kids from all over,” he added. “He’s great, a funny guy even when he’s not trying to be. And I just want to be coached by him.”

And the opportunity to that at home in front of his friends and family was the cherry on top.

“It was a difficult [decision] because there was a lot of places to go play at,” Dear said. “But I’m from Mississippi, ya know? It’s great to be staying home. Ain’t anything better than the ‘Sip.”

Dear is the No. 34 overall prospect and No. 2 running back in the 2025 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He’s also the No. 2 player in Mississippi.