Ole Miss Football Preview
Ole Miss has been slowly rebuilding to return to be a ranked team in the FBS. Years ago, Mississippi was one of the stronger teams in the SEC but have since fallen off. The school hired Lane Kiffin, former FAU head coach and Alabama OC, this offseason. Kiffin will bring his explosive offense to Ole Miss. Kiffin will need to catch lightning in a bottle to even have a chance at an SEC championship in 2020 but building the team to get there in a few years will be his plan.
The Quarterback position was in question after Jordan Ta’amu graduated. Matt Corral had seen some time as a freshman. Corral came in to 2019 as the starter and was a former high recruit from IMG Academy. Corral ended up leading the team in all passing stats, but late in the year John Rys Plumlee took over as the starter. Plumlee found some success against LSU towards the end of the year and is an intriguing runner with the ball in his hands. The sophomore will be the day 1 starter for Ole Miss.
Jerrion Ealy played sparingly as a freshman this past season. He was one of many younger players who saw meaningful reps in the offense. The former 4-star recruit will now step up and be the starter. Ealy is an explosive runner and also returned kicks as a freshman.
Ole Miss returns some intriguing talent in the wide receiver room. Elijah Moore highlights the group. Moore will be entering his junior year and has seen time since his freshman year where he got on the field despite them having DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, and DaMarkus Lodge. Moore is one of the best receivers in the SEC and could declare for the draft if he has another productive year. Braylon Sanders has also been in the mix since the Metcalf-Brown-Lodge days. Like Moore, Sanders is a very quick route runner who has no problem creating separation. Jonathan Mingo will likely round out the starting receivers.
Kenny Yeboah will be the starting for Ole Miss come the fall. Yeboah has transferred in from Temple after displaying his talents there. He is a grad transfer who has this one year to elevate his draft stock. Chase Rogers from Louisiana also will contribute to the offense as a transfer tight end.
Royce Newman and Eli Johnson highlight the offensive line and will slot in at guard and center, respectively. Both are 5th year senior who will bring leadership to the offense. Ben Brown is a redshirt junior who will likely round out the interior with Newman and Johnson. Jeremy James and Nick Broeker are projected to start at tackle and will be less experienced than the interior.
The defensive line is going to look a lot different this season after Qaadir Sheppard and Benito Jones used up their eligibility. Quentin Bivens and Patrick Lucas Jr. will probably be the starting two on the interior of the Rebels’ even front. They didn’t have anyone that could get to the passer off the edge last season. They’ll be looking for Ryder Anderson and Tariqious Tisdale to step up and be productive on the edge.
Former JUCO transfer, Lakia Henry, is back at linebacker for Ole Miss after leading the team in tackles last season. If he continues to grow as a player his name could start to be brought up in scouting circles. Mohamed Sanogo is also back for his junior season and is an NFL caliber player. Jacquez Jones is a younger player who will bring some more intrigue to the depth chart.
They will have a lot of questions to answer early on in the secondary. The group is experienced with upperclassmen, but they haven’t had the on-field experience. Jaylon Jones and Keidron Smith will start out at CB and will need to step up against some of these dangerous passing attacks in the SEC. AJ Finley is another sophomore who will see significant time in Oxford at safety. Jon Haynes will be the starter at the other safety spot and add some more experience to the unit.