There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind. The Ole Miss Rebels had a historic class.
Normally, the Rebels sign a couple of 4-star prospects, and they and their fans are happy about it. This year, the Rebels signed nine 4-stars. I almost forgot: they also signed three 5-stars.
So considering how good this class is, you can’t help but wonder, who’ll get early playing time? Today we’ll breakdown the offense prospects who might play early.
I think it’s highly doubtful either Devante Kincaid or Ryan Buchanan will see any snaps under center this year – both should be redshirting. Returning starter Bo Wallace will once again be the starting quarterback and Barry Brunetti will once again be his primary backup. After that, the Rebels have redshirt sophomore Mikhail Miller.
The battle for playing time at running back will be very intense. Senior Jeff Scott is the incumbent, and he will once again get the bulk of the carries. I’Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton were both true freshman last year and saw some time. They should be getting even more snaps this year. So which of the four freshmen coming in could see playing time? Jordan Wilkins already might be the most complete back on the team, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some action, especially near the goal line. Mark Dodson has the benefit of going through spring drills with the team, so he’ll already have some working knowledge of the offense come time for summer camp. However, I see him redshirting, along with Eugene Brazley. Kailo Moore could be the primary kick/punt returner this year given his elite speed. I don’t think he’ll get too many looks out of the backfield, however.
Laquon Treadwell, the number-one wide receiver in the country, should have no problem locking down one of the three starting receiver spots, joining potential All-American Donte Moncrief and Ja-Mes Logan. Quadarias Mireles could see snaps in the slot considering his game breaking speed. The rest of the wideouts (Quincy Adeboyejo, Trey Bledsoe and Derrick Jones will probably redshirt.
Ole Miss lost their top three tight ends to graduation, so this was a major priority. The Rebels came through in a big way with the signing of three athletic tight ends. Arshad Jackson has the athleticism and size/strength combination to start right away. Christian Morgan very easily should be the number two. Evan Engram will probably redshirt.
Along the offensive line, which was razor-thin last year, there could very easily be playing time for all four of the young linemen brought in. Laremy Tunsil, the number one tackle in the country, might not start right away, but he’ll more than likely be starting by the end of the season. Austin Golson will probably redshirt so he can get stronger and put on good weight. Daronte Bouldin and Davion Johnson could get pushed inside, which would increase their chances of playing time. More than likely, at least two of these four linemen will be redshirted.
So there ya have it. The two biggest names being brought in on offense, Treadwell and Tunsil, should be getting immediate playing time. One or two of the running backs, Mireles at receiver, Jackson and Morgan at tight end and possibly an additional lineman. These are the guys to pay attention to come summer camp.
Tomorrow we’ll be discussing the defense as well as what the impact of Robert Nkemdiche (ever heard of him?) will have on the Rebels defense.