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HottyToddy.com’s Daily Ole Miss Sports Roundup


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 SEC Country, The Rebel Walk and Ole Miss Sports.

Observational winners and losers from the Ole Miss pro day

Photo courtesy of John Bowen
Photo courtesy of John Bowen

SEC Country empties out the observational notebook from the Ole Miss pro day with a winners-and-losers assessment of the Rebels’ NFL prospects  covering the present day … and perhaps 10 years into the future (more on that later).

For what it’s worth, Ole Miss safety Trae Elston drew the loudest cheer from the pro day onlookers (family, friends, teammates), immediately after registering a lightning-quick 40 time of 4.46 seconds (unofficial).

WINNER: Head coach Hugh Freeze

Freeze didn’t have any on-field coaching obligations during pro day, similar to his role for the annual spring game (semi-neutral observer).

However, the event was still a triumph for the head coach (three straight seasons of eight-plus victories; back-to-back wins over Alabama), citing two key reasons:

1) The Rebels, led by offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Laquon Treadwell and defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, had a slew of top-notch prospects for the scouts, general managers and NFL cross-checkers to explore.

Courtesy of Jay Clemons and SEC Country

Thornberry Named SEC Freshman Of The Week

Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics.
Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics.

After earning co-medalist honors and helping lead the Ole Miss men’s golf team to a first-place finish at the FAU Slomin Autism Invite over the weekend, Braden Thornberry has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week the league office announced Wednesday.

Thornberry, a native of Southaven, Mississippi, earned co-medalist honors to help lead the Rebels to their first tournament win of the season besting a field of 18 other teams. It was the freshman’s second top-five finish of his career after finishing in a tie for fourth at the Seminole Intercollegiate just two weeks ago.

“Braden is very deserving for sure,” said head coach Chris Malloy. “He has been playing a high level of golf this entire spring and it’s great to see his hard work pay off. This will be the first of many awards to come his way.”

Thornberry went into the final nine holes of the final round tied for third, but birdied four holes in a row to start the back nine, including two par 4’s, a par 5 and a par 3, to move into the lead. His second-round score of 4-under 67 highlighted the tournament and tied his career-low round set at the 2015 Erin Hills Intercollegiate in October.

Thornberry and the Rebels will compete next at the Old Waverly Invitational in West Point, Mississippi April 4-5. For all Ole Miss Men’s golf news and information, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMGolf, on Instagram at OleMissMGolf and on Facebook at facebook.com/OleMissMGolf. Fans can also follow head coach Chris Malloy on Twitter at @CoachMalloy12.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Ole Miss Tennis and Crawfish on Tap this Weekend

Photo courtesy of Robert Jordan
Photo courtesy of Robert Jordan

Sunny skies, warm temps and crawfish will greet Rebel fans, as the Ole Miss men’s tennis team hosts arch-rival Mississippi State Friday, to continue a weekend full of tennis for both the men and women.

The Rebels and Bulldogs will square off Friday at 5 p.m., at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. Following Friday’s match, the Rebels will welcome Alabama Sunday at 1 p.m.

Fans will enjoy free crawfish at Friday’s match, as part of our Crawfish Extravaganza. Rebel fans are also invited to tailgate out front of the tennis center on the east side. For the Alabama match, fans will enjoy Sundae Sunday and receive a souvenir poster of sophomore Gustav Hansson.

Last time out…
Ole Miss dropped a tight 4-1 match to Arkansas last Sunday to fall to 7-7 overall and 2-5 in the SEC. The loss snapped a 28-match win streak in the series for the Rebels, who had not lost to the Razorbacks since 1988. Gustav Hansson earned his biggest win as a Rebel, knocking off No. 30 ranked Mike Redlicki in his first SEC match at No. 1 singles.

Scouting Mississippi State…
Mississippi State comes in with a 13-5 overall record, 5-3 in the SEC. They are coming off a 4-2 win against Auburn on Monday. The Bulldogs, who have won five of their last seven matches, are led by 22nd-ranked Mate Cutura at No. 1 singles. MSU also boasts 80th-ranked Rishab Agarwal in the top half of the lineup.

Looking at Alabama…
Alabama owns a 13-9 overall record, 4-4 in the SEC. They are coming off a 5-2 loss to No. 16 Florida. The Crimson Tide is led by 43rd-ranked Mazen Osama and Korey Lovett, who is ranked No. 102. Together, the two form the No. 17 ranked doubles team in the nation.

Rebels vs. Mississippi State and Alabama…
Ole Miss lost to Mississippi State 4-1 last year in Starkville and dropped a 4-2 decision to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Rebels last win against both teams came in 2013.

National rankings…
The Rebels are ranked No. 38 in this week’s Oracle/ITA National Rankings. In the latest individual rankings, Stefan Lindmark is ranked No. 87 and Gustav Hansson made his debut in the singles rankings at No. 104. He has posted three straight ranked wins, including last Sunday’s win against the No. 30 ranked player. Filip Kraljevic and Zvonimir Babic are ranked No. 41 in doubles.

Quoting head coach Toby Hansson…
“We are excited to be back at home after three matches on the road, and what a big match we have coming up. There is nothing better than crawfish, great weather and an exciting tennis match against your arch-rival. Both Mississippi State and Alabama are two good teams and we need to be ready for a battle both days.”

For more information on Ole Miss Men’s Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter @OleMissMTennis, on Facebook at OleMissMTennis and on Instagram at OleMissMTennis, follow Coach Hansson on Twitter at @TennisToby.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

DeMarquis Gates eager to step into leadership role on Landshark defense

Ole Miss junior linebacker DeMarquis Gates is eager to assume more of a leadership role on the defensive side of the ball, and he realizes more responsibility will come his way as the 2016 season draws closer.

Thus far in spring practices, defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Dave Wommackhas been moving Gates back and forth, playing him at stinger (outside linebacker) and mike (strong side or middle inside linebacker). Wommack is pleased with Gates’ presence on defense as the Hampton, Georgia native is giving the Rebels some confidence to get after the quarterback as well as stop the run.

Gates played in all 13 games last season for Ole Miss, starting four of those. He led the Rebels with 76 tackles.

Coach Hugh Freeze Photo by John Bowen
Coach Hugh Freeze
Photo by John Bowen

Wommack: ‘He’s turned into a really good football player’

“He’s by far the best linebacker at this point, but he’s the most experienced linebacker, and I’ve got him running both mike and stinger to cover ourselves at both ends,” Wommack said of the 6-foot-2 versatile linebacker. “Plus, he does play mike in the dime package, which we are not running at all this spring.

“So, he’s doing both of them, and he’s been steady and very consistent for us out there. He’s turned into a really good football player.”

Courtesy of Courtney Smith and the Rebel Walk

Jefferson and Lodge could add boost to Rebels’ offense

Photo by John Bowen
Photo by John Bowen

Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner is being patient with his offense as he mentors a lot of new talent in Oxford. He’s keeping a watchful eye on the young wide receivers—especially Van Jefferson and Damarkus Lodge, who might be just what quarterback Chad Kelly needs to have another outstanding season.

Before the 2014-15 season began, Jefferson and Lodge were praised during fall camp for their unbelievable athleticism. Neither receiver is afraid to run a short, cut-route through the middle because their upper bodies are built to take hits to the chest. Running deep route schemes is not unusual for either receiver and both of them effortlessly orchestrated those with Kelly under center at Tuesday’s practice.

Jefferson, who redshirted last season, brings a long history of excellence with him as his father, Shawn Jefferson, played in the National Football League and is now the wide receivers coach for the Tennessee Titans. Prior to his arrival in Nashville, Tennessee, the elder Jefferson was in the same position for the Detroit Lions for seven seasons.

Being around the NFL has helped the 6-foot-2, 181-pound receiver from Brentwood, Tennessee have a better understanding of the position his father once played.

“It was very beneficial to me,” said Jefferson, who has gained 11 pounds since his redshirt season, of his father’s profession.

Courtesy of Courtney Smith and the Rebel Walk

For questions or comments, email Adam Brown at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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