A star was born in the Ole Miss win at Vanderbilt in the form of true freshman Laquon Treadwell who helped erase an 11-point halftime deficit by becoming Bo Wallace’s go-to target in the second half. The Rebels looked out of sync in the second quarter, but after halftime Treadwell announced himself to the world with a dominant second half.
Treadwell, last year’s top wide receiver recruit, and Wallace connected eight times for 71 yards and a crucial two-point conversion in the second half as the Rebels fed him the ball to get the offense jump started. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Crete, Illinois made an acrobatic one-handed grab in the third quarter displaying the skills that made him such a coveted recruit last year and opened up the stagnant Rebel offense.
With top receiver Donte Moncrief quiet for much of the night — he had five grabs for 56 yards — Treadwell took advantage of the man-to-man coverage and at times had only a safety to beat. Vanderbilt had no answer for Treadwell who was drawing comparisons to NFL Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin from color commentator Matt Millen during the broadcast.
Moncrief is not going to be held to these numbers very often this season as teams will have to game plan for two game-breaking receivers. Last year the Rebels would have lost a game with this type of production from Moncrief, but with Treadwell giving Wallace a second target in the passing game, opposing defenses will have fits trying to stop Moncrief and Treadwell.
Often times freshmen do not respond under the bright lights of a primetime game on national television—especially in their first game—but Treadwell took his game to another level in the Rebels’ opener. I expected Treadwell to make an impact with Vincent Sanders sidelined, but I did not anticipate him being the primary reason Ole Miss would steal momentum from the Commodores in the third quarter and win the game late.
He exceeded my expectations—which were already high—after watching him set high school records, and if tonight’s debut is a sign of things to come for Treadwell, he’ll be an All-American who may end up proving Millen’s comparison true.