BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Ole Miss’ freshman class has made a huge impact on the football field this year, and the Southeastern Conferences have recognized it by voting four Rebels onto the SEC All-Freshman team announced by the league office on Thursday.
Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche and defensive back Tony Conner were tabbed to the SEC All-Freshman squad.
Ole Miss’ four selections are tied with Arkansas and South Carolina for the most. Each of the 14 SEC institutions are represented on the team, which was voted on by the SEC’s 14 head coaches, who were not able to vote for their own players.
Tunsil, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound tackle from Lake City, Fla., is one of two true freshmen in the nation to be his team’s full-time starting left tackle and the only one in the SEC. He has surrendered only one sack all year while protecting Bo Wallace’s blind side. He has played in every game and started nine. He was named to the Associated Press All-SEC second team on Monday, becoming the first true freshman in school history to receive All-SEC distinction (along with tight end Evan Engram).
A 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver from Crete, Ill., Treadwell was tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Year by the league coaches on Wednesday. He ranks third among SEC players with 5.6 receptions per game and has shattered the Ole Miss freshman records for receptions (67), receiving yards (557) and touchdown catches (5) in a season. He leads all SEC freshmen in catches, receiving yards and touchdown receptions, while he ranks fourth among freshmen nationally in receptions per game.
Nkemdiche came to Ole Miss as the No. 1 rated prospect out of high school and has started all 10 games he’s played in as a rookie, posting 29 tackles, 8.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks, two pass breakups and three quarterback hurries. The 6-foot-5, 294-pounder from Loganville, Ga., tops all SEC freshmen with 0.8 tackles for loss per outing. Despite missing two games with a strained hamstring, he made an impact at both defensive end and tackle, while also seeing action as a running back against Mississippi State.
Conner, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound safety from Batesville, Miss., is tied for third on the Ole Miss defense with 59 tackles, while also posting 4.0 TFLs, a sack, an interception, six passes defended and four quarterback hurries. He has started 11 of 12 games at the Rebels’ “huskie” position and ranks second among league freshmen with his 59 stops. He intercepted a pass on his first defensive snap in the season opener at Vanderbilt and has been one of the Rebels’ top playmakers ever since.
Other current Rebels who are past members of the Coaches’ Freshman All-SEC team include Issac Gross (2012), Denzel Nkemdiche (2012), Serderius Bryant (2011), Tyler Campbell (2009) and D.T. Shackelford (2009).
2013 SEC All-Freshman Football Team (* – ties)
TE – Hunter Henry, Arkansas
OL – Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss; Andrew Jelks, Vanderbilt; Alex Kozan, Auburn; Denver Kirkland, Arkansas
C – Jon Toth, Kentucky
WR – Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss; Marques North, Tennessee
QB – Maty Mauk, Missouri
RB – Alex Collins, Arkansas; Kelvin Taylor, Florida
AP – Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
DL – Chris Jones, Mississippi State; A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama; Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss; Darius Philon, Arkansas
LB – Darian Claiborne, Texas A&M; Leonard Floyd, Georgia; Skai Moore, South Carolina
DB – Vernon Hargreaves, Florida; Tony Conner, Ole Miss; Tre’Davious White, LSU; Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
PK – Elliott Fry, South Carolina
P – Johnny Townsend, Florida
RS – Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
— Ole Miss Sports Information