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Football Practice Notes: Ole Miss Talented in the Secondary

Photo by Danny Dickey
Photo by Danny Dickey

As Ole Miss Rebels prepare for their season opener against Florida State Seminoles in Orlando on September 5, HottyToddy.com have observed the football team’s fall practice.

Here are some observations from practice on Wednesday, August 17.

1. Ole Miss is talented in the secondary, but it may take a little while to gel.

I expect the Rebels to eventually have two freshman starters at the safety positions in Myles Hartsfield and Deontay Anderson. Freeze told the media yesterday to temper expectations for Evans, but the Texas native definitely looks the part of a SEC safety. Hartsfield really benefitted from being in Oxford this past spring. The Rebels also have CJ Hampton in the mix, but the junior has struggled some in camp and may wind up splitting time with Anderson in the early portion of the season.

2. Left Tackle is a revolving door.

Greg Little had a shoulder issue last year, while Rod Taylor took the majority of snaps at left tackle. Little is a highly touted prospect out of Texas that will eventually be the Rebels long-term left tackle, but he may not be ready for that role immediately. Taylor provides Ole Miss some athleticism out on the edge, but Taylor struggled at tackle last season, especially in the Sugar Bowl. Alex Givens has been playing right and left tackle for the Rebels and could provide as the swing guy on the offensive line for Ole Miss.

3. Freeze mentioned that D’Vaughan Pennamon was having a strong camp yesterday, and if so he would provide a solid sized running back in the rotation.

Ole Miss for the first time over Freeze has a plethora of running backs over 200 pounds. Jordan Wilkins and Akeem Judd played last year behind Jaylen Walton, and there isn’t a person around that isn’t high on Eric Swinney. While losing Walton will hurt the Rebels, they are much deeper at the position than they’ve ever been in Freeze’s tenure.

4. Chad Kelly is good at football.

During camp at this point the defense is usually ahead, but with Kelly’s ability Freeze noted that the offense is ahead right now. That is likely because of Kelly and how well he can lead the offense.

5. The past few seasons Ole Miss has had a revolving door at punt returner.

That likely won’t be the case this year as Jalen Julius and Tre Nixon seem to have taken over that role. Julius said that he has a knack for catching punts and that when he gets the ball he’s going to make big plays. Nixon is a burner that has impressed so far in camp, and could provide Ole Miss a real playmaker at the position.

Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at collin.brister@hottytoddy.com.

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