Ole Miss Football Spring Review
Mike Marry was named the Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner this spring. (photo by Joshua McCoy)

May 8, 2013

Spring Review (PDF)

The last few months have created quite a buzz with Ole Miss Football.

In its first season under the leadership of Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss won seven games and earned the program’s first bowl berth since 2009. A 41-24 rout of Mississippi State made the Rebels bowl eligible, and they capped off the season with a 38-17 triumph over Pitt in front of an ecstatic fan base at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham.

The momentum was bolstered the next month by the best recorded signing class in school history, ranked as high as No. 2 nationally by 247Sports and No. 5 by ESPN.

A fast-paced series of spring practices followed in March and April. Despite a number of injuries that sidelined some of the Rebels' top players, the spring was capped in front of approximately 28,000 fans at the 2013 BancorpSouth Grove Bowl inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Freeze and the Rebel coaching staff welcome back 58 lettermen from last season, including 19 of 22 position starters, and look to speed up their tempo offense even more in 2013.

Below is a position-by-position breakdown after the conclusion of spring drills.

QUARTERBACKS
• Returning starter Bo Wallace was held out of any throwing drills this spring after offseason clavicle surgery.
• Wallace won the 2012 Conerly Trophy after passing for the third-most yards (2,994) and fourth-most TDs (22) in a season in school history.
Barry Brunetti and Maikhail Miller saw the majority of spring snaps.
• Brunetti was fourth on the team in rushing last year (277 yards), with three touchdowns.
• Signees Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade will join the team in the fall.

RUNNING BACKS
• Six lettermen return, including leading rusher Jeff Scott (846 yards).
I'Tavius Mathers won the Eli Manning Award as the team's most improved offensive player in the spring.
• Two lettermen were lost to graduation, including co-starter Randall Mackey.
• Scott ranks 9th in school history with 1,804 rushing yards, 9th with 2,966 all-purpose yards and 10th with 15 rushing TDs.
• Rising sophomores Jaylen Walton and Mathers combined for 152 rushing yards in the BBVA Compass Bowl win.
• Highly rated signee Mark Dodson enrolled early out of high school and joined the team for spring drills. He showed off good skills, as did Hinds CC transfer Darryan Ragsdale.
• Other highly rated signees – Eugene Brazley, Kailo Moore and Jordan Wilkins – will join the team in the fall.

WIDE RECEIVERS
• Eight of nine WRs that lettered last year are back, including starters Donte Moncrief and Vince Sanders.
• Moncrief tied the school record with 10 TD catches and racked up 979 receiving yards last year.
• The wideouts accounted for 16 of the team’s 24 TD catches a year ago.
• Others who contributed during the spring were Ja-Mes Logan, Korvic Neat, Cody Core, Jordan Holder and Quadarias Mireles.
Collins Moore only participated in non-contact drills this spring as he recovered from shoulder surgery.
• Three WR signees, including highly rated recruits Laquon Treadwell and Quincy Adeboyejo, will join the team in the fall.

TIGHT ENDS
• Ole Miss has to replace the top three TEs from last year, including full-time starter Ferbia Allen, who was picked up by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent.
Justin Bigham, who played mostly on special teams, is the lone letterman returning.
• Other players who stepped into the rotation this spring included early enrollee freshman Christian Morgan, along with non-scholarship TEs Matt Brown, Jack Nuismer and Dylan Dyer.
• Morgan missed the second half of spring with a knee injury.
• Joining the team in the fall will be signees Evan Engram and A.J. Jackson.

OFFENSIVE LINE
• The Rebels return four of five starters from last year – left tackle Emmanuel McCray, left guard Aaron Morris, center Evan Swindall and right tackle Pierce Burton.
• Starting right guard A.J. Hawkins graduated and was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie free agent.
• Swindall won the team's J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award in the spring.
• Morris missed spring drills recovering from shoulder surgery, while Darone Bailey (knee) and Patrick Junen (toe) also missed practice time with injuries.
• A total of 11 lettermen return along the OL.
• Candidates to compete for the starting job at right guard include Junen and Justin Bell.
• Four signees will join the team this fall, including highly rated recruits Laremy Tunsil and Austin Golson.

DEFENSIVE ENDS
• Three lettermen return from last year, including starters C.J. Johnson and Cameron Whigham.
• The Rebels lost Jason Jones and E.J. Epperson to graduation. Epperson was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie free agent.
• Johnson led the team with 6.5 sacks in 2012. He suffered a fracture in his fibula during the first week of spring, but his return by fall camp is expected.
• Johnson's absence allowed back-ups Channing Ward and Carlos Thompson to get more reps with the first team this spring.
• The ends helped Ole Miss lead all SEC teams and rank 4th in the nation in TFLs (7.9/game) and rank 2nd in the SEC and 11th nationally in sacks (2.9/game) in 2012.
• Ole Miss signed the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, who will join the team in the fall.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES
• Four of six lettermen return from last year, including starters Issac Gross and Bryon Bennett.
Gilbert Pena and Uriah Grant were lost to graduation. Both were picked up as rookie free agents by NFL teams.
• Gross missed most of the spring recovering from sports hernia surgery, which allowed Woodrow Hamilton and Carlton Martin to earn more reps in his stead.
• Gross was a first team Freshman All-America pick after racking up 40 tackles, 10.0 TFLs and 2.5 sacks.
• The tackles helped Ole Miss lead all SEC teams and rank 4th in the nation in TFLs (7.9/game) and rank 2nd in the SEC and 11th nationally in sacks (2.9/game).
• Top-rated JUCO signee Lavon Hooks joined the team for spring drills and showed impressive athleticism.

LINEBACKERS
• Five lettermen return, including starters Denzel Nkemdiche (OLB) and Mike Marry (MLB).
• Three lettermen were lost, including senior contributors Joel Kight and Aaron Garbutt.
• Nkemdiche was a first team Freshman All-America pick and second team All-SEC selection after leading the team in tackles, TFLs, forced fumbles and interceptions.
• Senior D.T. Shackelford returned to the practice fields after missing two years due to knee injuries and provided immediate energy and leadership.
• Also contributing this spring were Serderius Bryant, Keith Lewis and Temario Strong.

SAFETIES/HUSKIES
• Seven lettermen return, including starters Cody Prewitt (Free Safety), Trae Elston (Rover) and Dehendret Collins (Huskie), who is now at cornerback.
Chief Brown won the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award as the team's most improved defensive player in the spring.
• Brown, Quintavius Burdette, Mike Hilton and Brishen Mathews also saw extensive game action last year.
• Highly rated signee Tony Conner will join the team in the fall.

CORNERBACKS
• The Rebels return all but two lettermen at cornerback, including starters Senquez Golson and Charles Sawyer.
• Departed senior Wesley Pendleton signed a rookie free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
• Golson tied for the team lead with three interceptions last year.
• Sawyer has started 25 consecutive games for Ole Miss, between corner, strong safety and free safety. He missed the latter portion of the spring with a sprained knee.
• JUCO transfer Nick Brassell made an impact at corner this spring, as well as converted running back Carlos Davis, Dehendret Collins and Anthony Standifer.
• Brassell was a two-way standout at WR and CB for Ole Miss as a freshman in 2011 before transferring to East Mississippi CC.

SPECIALISTS
• Redshirt seniors Tyler Campbell (punter) and Andrew Ritter (kicker) return to lead the special teams group.
• Last year’s starting punter, Jim Broadway, and kicker, Bryson Rose, graduated.
• Other specialists returning include holder Chris Conley and long snapper Will Denny.
• January enrollee Andy Pappanastos should also compete for a kicking role.


 

 

    • Know the Opponent: Memphis

      Saturday, December 3, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Memphis (6-1) KenPom ranking: 89 Ole Miss is presented another opportunity on Saturday to grab a nice win when Memphis travels to the Pavilion for the Tigers first road game of the season. The Rebels let an opportunity slip... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Middle Tennessee State

      Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Middle Tennessee State (6-1) KenPom ranking: 108 The next six days could go a long way in building the Rebels' postseason resume, and that stretch begins tonight with Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders return seven players that knocked off No. 2... read more

    • Rebels' Most Valuable Senior: D.J. Jones

      Monday, November 28, 2016 - Football

      Defensive tackle D.J. Jones has been recognized by the Jackson Touchdown Club as the Most Valuable Senior on the Rebels' football team. He will be recognized with the award tonight during the C Spire Most Valuable Senior Program at the... read more

    • Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

      Saturday, November 26, 2016 - Football

      The 2016 season began with high hopes and expectations. Those are the things that accompany a No. 12 preseason ranking. Instead, it became a season of injuries, what-ifs, close calls and disappointments. Instead of championships, the season came to a... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 21, 2016 - Football

      It's Egg Bowl week. That should be enough motivation for the players and coaches. The game means an extraordinary amount to this university and theirs. Ole Miss has faced adversity, but now they have a chance to go to a... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 14, 2016 - Football

      Freeze said that it was good meeting with the team yesterday. A lot of good things happened with a lot of improvement in a lot of areas. To go on the road to Kyle Field, there was a lot of... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 7, 2016 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} Freeze said the team is excited to win a game. It was a tough one. They spent a lot... read more

    • Shorthanded Rebels Come Together to Fight Off Georgia Southern

      Saturday, November 5, 2016 - Football

      By Alex Sims, Ole Miss AthleticsThe Ole Miss Rebels entered Saturday's meeting with Georgia Southern already shorthanded--then defensive captain John Youngblood went down. Then quarterback Chad Kelly went down. And suddenly, Ole Miss found itself fighting off a feisty underdog... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 31, 2016 - Football

      After meeting yesterday and watching the film, our kids competed against one of the hottest football teams in the country. They needed a couple more plays. Freeze has zero frustration over effort, but he does over having a recurring problem... read more

    • Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

      Saturday, October 29, 2016 - Football

      For most of the game on Saturday, Auburn's defense had no answer for Ole Miss' signal caller. Even his incompletions were on target. He threw for a school-record 465 yards while adding 40 yards on the ground to eclipse... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 24, 2016 - Football

      It was not the outcome Ole Miss wanted on Saturday night. Life doesn't get any easier in the SEC West. Auburn is an outstanding football team and maybe the best defensive they've seen this year. Their rushing game is... read more

    • Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

      Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Football

      Somehow, the college football regular season is already halfway in the books. With that, many publications released their midseason All-America lists. There's a common theme to each of them at the TE position. Evan Engram.Engram was selected as the... read more

    • Ole Miss Unified Rebels Hold Flag Football Championship Tomorrow

      Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - Football

      Special Olympics MS - Students at the University of Mississippi are partnering with Special Olympics Mississippi athletes in the 2016 season of SO College unified flag football, which will culminate in the Unified Egg Bowl, a unified sports flag... read more

    • Jordan Sims Graded as Best SEC Guard of Week 7 by PFF

      Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - Football

      Pro Football Focus grades players on a 1-100 scale, and Ole Miss' Jordan Sims was graded out by PFF as having the best performance of any guard in the SEC in week seven. His grade of 81.0 against the... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 17, 2016 - Football

      There's another SEC road game this week. This one means a lot to our people. They'll let their players know about the history of the matchup between Ole Miss and LSU. The Arkansas game was frustrating. Ole Miss has... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook