The Ole Miss Rebels are flying under the radar in the SEC race this fall as a darkhorse candidate in the vaunted West Division. They have talent returning at just about every position, including quarterback with Bo Wallace looking like he could end up being the best QB in the conference this season. But for the Rebels to take the next step as a program, they will need a big season from their X-factor at tight end, Evan Engram.
As a freshman in 2013, Engram got off to a red-hot start for the Rebels. He logged multiple receptions in each of the first seven games of the year, tallying 20 receptions for 265 yards with an Ole Miss freshman-record three touchdown receptions. But an ankle injury sidelined the talented youngster for the final five games of the regular season and the offense suffered, scoring just 10 points in losses to the Missouri Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs to close out the year.
But now Engram is back and 100 percent healthy looking to take his game, along with the Ole Miss passing attack, to the next level in 2014. The 6-foot-3, 217 pound pass-catcher is a matchup problem in the middle of the field and could provide a nice security blanket for Wallace down the seam. Having that added dimension to the offense should help the Rebels move the football more consistently and cut down on the costly turnovers, which could turn them into a real contender for the SEC title.
Breaking into the SEC elite is no easy task, especially with the talent heavy teams of the SEC West standing in your way. Ole Miss has the pieces to be dangerous this season. Can Evan Engram be the difference-maker that takes them over the top this fall?