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Ole Miss Football Opens Fall Camp with Media Days


Video by Talbert Toole
By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke addresses the media. Photo by Talbert Toole

The start of the 2018 Ole Miss Football season is less than a month away, and players reported back for fall camp on Thursday. Head coach Matt Luke met with the media before previewing the upcoming season and opening against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Sept. 1.

Luke enters the season in his second year but the first season without the interim tag to his name.
“(I’m) excited to get started. I feel like we’re coming in with a lot of momentum,” Luke said. “I said a while back at SEC Media Days there’s a very, very positive vibe in the Manning Center and a lot of really, really positive momentum right.”
When the Rebels open up camp, they will have Tariqious Tisdale on the field.
“(Noah) Jefferson did not qualify, so I felt like that was important for Tariqious to come in here at defensive line. Also, we are going to keep Jalen Cunningham at D-Line starting fall camp,” Luke said.
Ole Miss will enter camp with almost a complete healthy depth chart, except for D’Vaughn Pennamon.
“(Pennamon) may be the middle of the season. He had a very severe knee injury. He is running, but it’s going to be a little bit of a slow process. We’ll know more in the middle of camp; I’ll be able to give you a little bit better feel when he starts cutting and moving, but everybody else should be ready to go. Got a lot of people coming back that missed the spring,” Luke said.
Over the past two seasons, the defense has wanted to become more sound. Last year against the Aggies of Texas A&M the Land Shark defense rose to the challenge by forcing turnovers and shutting them out in the second half.
“I think continuity is huge,” Luke said. “I think having an experienced secondary and them being able to load the box some should help us. We have to find a way to continue to build and get better in our second year.”
Returning to the Vaught this season is a veteran group of wide receivers that have dubbed themselves the “Nasty Wideouts” (NWO).
“They are very driven. They push each other to be better, and that’s what I like about those guys,” Luke said.
Junior wideout A.J. Brown sat down with HottyToddy.com to discuss the receivers this season.
“I expect us to handle a lot of big games that we let slip away last season,” Brown said. “Our offense is well put together, as we only lost two players. We will handle situations better because we have been through it.”
Jordan Ta’amu is returning at quarterback, as he has become a leader to his teammates.
“(Ta’amu) having success helped him be a leader because guys aren’t going to follow a guy that’s not doing great,” Luke said. “I think him having success helped him be a leader, but we’ve got a lot of good players up front that are leaders—Sean Rawlings, Jordan Sims, Javon Patterson, Greg Little, Alex Givens. They all take ownership.”


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