EDITOR’S NOTE: Beginning this week and counting down to the first week of Ole Miss football practice the week of August 15, HottyToddy.com’s own Collin Brister, former sports editor of the Daily Mississippian, will bring you exclusive “5 at 5” analyses of either A) the opponents Ole Miss will be facing this season or B) some background on Ole Miss’ players at each position. It’s being called “5 at 5” because each original piece will give you 5 key things to know, and we will post these stories at 5 p.m. every Monday-Friday.
Key Losses – Laquon Treadwell and Cody Core
Ole Miss lost, arguably, the best receiver in program history after the 2015 season in Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell, a first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings, set numerous school records during his three years in Oxford, and will be extremely hard to replace for the Rebels.
Ole Miss also lost Cody Core, a sixth-round draft pick by the Bengals, had 644 yards last year for the Rebels and four touchdowns. Core was known for his explosive plays, like the 73-yard touchdown against Alabama or the touchdown catch in the 2014 egg bowl that put Mississippi State away.
Key Additions – A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Van Jefferson and Tre Nixon
Ole Miss went into Starkville and got a signature from A.J. Brown last February, and Brown could contribute immediately with the departure of Treadwell. Brown is an extremely physical receiver.
The Oxford native has a freakish athletic ability and could provide a boost to the Rebels receiving core immediately.
Jefferson, a Tennessee native, redshirted during the 2015 season, but his body and frame along with his athletic ability provide for him a chance to play for the Rebels during the 2016 season.
Nixon, a Florida native, could be the Rebels’ fastest receiver as he ran a sub 4.4 40 yard-dash, and could be a weapon to the Rebels during the season.
Key returners – Damore’ea Stringfellow, Quincy Adeboyejo, Markell Pack, Derrick Jones and Demarkus Lodge
Stringfellow could be the immediate replacement for Treadwell, as the 6”2’ 211-pound receiver had a solid 2015 season for the Rebels. Stringfellow caught 36 passes for 503 touchdowns and five touchdowns, including two in the egg bowl.
Adeboyejo is the veteran among the receiving core, as the Texas native has been in the system since 2013. Adeboyejo is Ole Miss’ vertical threat as the senior receiver is extremely fast and can take the top off of a defense.
Pack is a junior that has been in the system the previous two seasons. Pack, from Purvis, caught 31 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Jones is a senior from Eupora. He’s seen time during his Ole Miss career on the offensive and defensive sides of the football, and is extremely athletic. He can be used, like Adeboyejo, to take the top off the defenses, like he did with a touchdown reception against Auburn last season.
Lodge played sparingly during the 2015 season, but could see an impact during this season. The heralded four star receiver out of Texas caught a touchdown last year against UT Martin.
The receiving core is by far the deepest on the Ole Miss team. The receivers are all talented, and Ole Miss has recruited extremely well at the position over Hugh Freeze’s tenure. Along with Chad Kelly’s arm strength, and the receivers talent level, it could make Ole Miss one of the most potent offenses in the country.
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.