HottyToddy.com is giving readers a roundup of all the commentary and information about the Ole Miss Rebels from various publications around the Web.
Readers will be able to check out the latest information in a single post every day throughout the year. Here at HottyToddy.com, we are doing all the leg work to find the information that people may want to hear about Ole Miss sports.
Today’s roundup features OleMiss.247Sports and Saturday Down South.
Youngblood Embraces Role As Rebel
The opportunity for Youngblood, a native of football-crazed Birmingham, Ala., to play in the SEC was simply too much to pass up. It was a golden ticket for the 2-star prospect whom to this date remains the lowest-rated non-kicker ever signed by Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss. It was a different time, a lower time for Ole Miss football, and one could hardly imagine Freeze taking a chance on the 2-star player out of Hewitt-Trussville High School considering the stature his program owns today.
But Freeze was just getting started turning the fortunes in Oxford. He had to hurriedly assemble a recruiting class in just two short months. Youngblood, whose best offer prior to Ole Miss was from Central Florida, was there for the taking, despite his commitment to the Orlando school.
Youngblood, a defensive end, has developed into a regular contributor at Ole Miss. And he’s had a front row seat to the rebuilding of the program.
“It’s been a blessing. Coach Freeze and (defensive line) Coach (Chris) Kiffin gave me a shot to come here. I was one of the last guys to get here, but as soon as I got here I knew I had to work hard to get on the field,” Youngblood said.
“I’m not as good of an athlete as the other guys at my position, but I’ve been working hard to get to this point. I’ve been fortunate to catch a couple of breaks. Unfortunately, guys have gotten injured for me to be able to play. I’ve gotten my chance and I think whenever my number has been called I’ve been able to be a guy that they can count on. They just know that I’ll be that role player that they need me to be.”
Courtesy of David Johnson and Ole Miss.247Sports.com
2 things every Ole Miss fan needs to know today
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze told reporters Monday that the offense and defense have both taken turns in dominating practices this spring. On Monday, it was quarterback Chad Kelly and the offense that shined. The competition should make for some interesting battles as the Rebels head toward the summer.
Here are two things to know:
- Speaking of Kelly, the Rebels’ signal caller is looking to build on his historic first season in the SEC. We took a look at whether or not Kelly can improve his numbers in 2016.
- With the basketball season in the books, Ole Miss has already started seeing changes to its roster. On Tuesday, a freshman guard decided to end his Rebels career and transfer. Coach Andy Kennedy has not been shy about the amount of turnover his roster will see this offseason.
Other Ole Miss news from around the Internet
- With basketball on the mind, Ole Miss will be looking to add a graduate transfer or two to the roster this offseason. A former New Mexico player is among players the Rebels are interested in, and he will visit Ole Miss this season, according to Will Sammon of The Clarion Ledger.
- The No. 8 Ole Miss baseball team continued its winning ways Tuesday, as the Rebels used three home runs to defeat UT-Martin, 8-2. Ole Miss (20-2, 2-1 SEC) hosts South Carolina in a three-game series beginning Thursday.
Courtesy of David Collier and SEC Country.com
Projected Field of 64: March 23
3: American, Big 12, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA
2: Missouri Valley, Sun Belt
1: A-Sun, A-10, America East, Big East, Big South, Colonial, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, NEC, OVC, Patriot, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, WAC, WCC
New At-Large Bid: South Alabama
Dropping Out: UNC Wilmington
On The Radar: Old Dominion, Tennessee, UC Irvine, Stanford, West Virginia, Arizona State, Washington, Troy, Boston College
- This week sees our first real shuffling of the national seeds, with North Carolina and Mississippi entering the top eight and California and Vanderbilt dropping out. The 17-2 Tar Heels and 20-2 Rebels have been two of the nation’s hottest starters and already boast marquee series wins—UNC over UCLA and Oklahoma State; Ole Miss over Louisville—to go with top-five RPIs on WarrenNolan.com. Both will still face plenty of challenges in conference play, but their resumes to this point are as impressive as any you’ll find.
Louisville hangs onto our last national seed despite taking its second series loss in five weeks last weekend at Miami. We still believe in the Cardinals’ talented core of players that won the ACC regular-season title a year ago, and they’ll get a chance to prove themselves again this weekend when Virginia comes to town, not to mention the fact they’re still 16-4 and No. 6 on WarrenNolan. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, drops out after its home series loss to Mississippi State. While we don’t doubt the Commodores’ talent level either, they’re left out because outside of South Carolina’s coming to Nashville, all their other most challenging SEC series—LSU, Florida and Texas A&M—are on the road.
We’re not excited about having six of the eight national seeds taken up by ACC and SEC teams, and granted it’s still fairly early, but there’s shaping up to be a dearth of national seed contenders elsewhere. Oregon State and TCU are clear favorites to get into the top eight, but with Cal and Oregon sliding, there don’t appear to be many more viable candidates from the Midwest or West, unless Oklahoma State or UCLA, Nos. 14 and 16 on WarrenNolan, respectively, can elbow their way back into the picture. UC Santa Barbara has the No. 7 RPI for now, but it’d be very ambitious to expect the retooled Gauchos to hang around the national seed race.
Read more at Baseball America.com
His quarterback days behind him, senior Rebel looking to earn starting OL job
But he’s good with it. Actually, he’s not only grown to accept that fact, he’s embracing his football future as an offensive lineman. A tackle, in fact.
“With this opportunity to go make this money and play this position,” he said, “I just say forget quarterback. I’m an offensive lineman now.”
Liggins always seemed destined for a position change in college.
He was an accomplished prep quarterback, leading nearby Lafayette High School to 32 straight wins and back-to-back 4A state titles. But when he committed to LSU in 2012, he was already pushing 300 pounds. He split time at quarterback and defensive end in junior college, and his arrival at Ole Miss in 2014 brought another move. He was tried at tight end, where he earned five starts, and he was used predominately as a tight end last season, though he also took some snaps as the team’s short-yardage quarterback.
He’s worked at left and right tackle this spring. Has he finally found a home? Liggins thinks so.
Courtesy of Ben Garrett and OMSpirit.com
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