Despite the significant senior graduation losses, the cupboard is anything but bare looking ahead to next season.
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge will be finding a replacement for career passing leader Bo Wallace. Bo experienced an Allstar performance while here and is now looking forward to his third consecutive bowl game and possibly third MVP.
Both sides of the ball appear to be in good hands along with all aspects of the kicking game. With new recruits, red shirts, injuries, etc. there will be many roster adjustments, but as of now (based upon what we know) the future looks exceedingly bright.
Championships start with the defense. Our secondary should be among the nation’s leaders with names such as Tee Shepard, Kailo Moore, C.J. Hampton, Trae Elston, Chief Brown, Tony Conner, Kendarius Webster, C.J. Moore and Mike Hilton all capable of making significant contributions. The tackles will once again showcase Robert (All American) Nkemdiche and Woody Hamilton. C.J. Johnson and Channing Ward return at DE along with the incredible Marquis Haynes. The line backing corps is probably the biggest question mark, but hopefully, Denzel Nkemdiche will return for his senior year. Christian Russell (another 2015 senior) will also be expected to play a key role.
The offensive side of the ball also appears very encouraging with “big play” people returning in numbers. The receivers will again showcase Laquon Treadwell, Quincy Adeboyejo, Evan Engram and Cody Core. Sammie Epps could also be a major force. The running backs are also solid with I’Tavius Mathers, Mark Dodson, Jaylen Walton and Jordan Wilkins. The line should be anchored by Ben Still, Justin Bell, Aaron Morris, Rod Taylor, Fahn Cooper, Daronte Bouldin, Jeremy Liggins and Laremy Tunsil. The quarterback spot is up for grabs apparently, however, DeVante Kincade has to be one of the favorites.
The kicking game is also solid with both Will Gleeson and Gary Wunderlich returning.
Excellent recruiting is the sole reason for the above situation. Going to bowls each year with even better bowls anticipated spoils the alumni, students and fans. It’s no fun having a program going in reverse. The Ole Miss program under Hugh Freeze is going forward, full speed ahead. The journey has only begun!
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at email@example.com or call him at 985-852-7745.