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Ole Miss locks up Hugh Freeze with contract extension


Scratch Hugh Freeze from speculation for the Florida coaching job, the Nebraska job, or any other big opening.

Ole Miss has locked up Freeze with a contract extension that will not only pay him $4 million per season, but will allow him to spend more money on his assistant coaches as well, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

The Rebels finished the regular season at 9-3 and were in serious contention for a College Football Playoff berth deep into the season until a Nov. 1 home loss to Auburn. Freeze had been widely speculated as a potential candidate to replace Will Muschamp at Florida, though formal contact between Freeze and UF athletic director Jeremy Foley is not believed to have taken place. While the possibility of Freeze being courted by another school was a legitimate concern, particularly given the stature of the vacancies beginning to open, a raise for Freeze was undoubtedly coming anyway. He beat Alabama for the first time in Nick Saban's eight-year tenure at the SEC West powerhouse, and beating rival Mississippi State in the annual Egg Bowl certainly didn't hurt, either.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that negotiations had been ongoing for several weeks, which likely means Rebels athletic director Ross Bjork pursued the extension before Muschamp was even dismissed. Bjork took to Twitter to confirm the news:

Freeze's recruiting prowess has been a key factor in the Rebels' quick rise, led by a spectacular sophomore class that will return as one of the most talented junior classes in the nation next year, including left tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and safety Tony Conner.

The Rebels are likely to receive a bid Sunday to either the Cotton, Outback or Bowl.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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