By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss defense will pick up an addition to the backfield in the 2021 season when senior Jake Springer takes the field for the first time for the red and blue.
Springer had to sit out a season after transferring in from Navy.
“Last year was awesome,” Springer said. “Coming from my perspective, it’s tough for guys to sit out, (especially when) coming off playing a lot of football too. I lined up every morning against the best — in my eyes — wide receiver (Elijah Moore) who is in the draft right now. Taking that and having No. 8 (Moore) –just getting the same look now when I’m coming into playing as every other wide receiving core in the SEC. I think the games just slowed down a little bit.”
For the Kansas City, Missouri native, the season out was beneficial coming from the American Athletic Conference to the SEC and allowed him to “work his technique.”
“What last year allowed me to do was get comfortable with Coach Dirk and Coach Partridge’s defensive scheme and just delve into it,” he said.
During last season, Springer was able to move around a bit and sit in on the wide receivers “to see how they attacked defenses.”
“I am really grateful for that,” he said.
Heading into his final college season he has set some goals to achieve.
“First off is to just go win,” Springer said. “That does a lot for the team. If we are winning everyone here is happy, everyone is getting accomplishments and accolades that they want to get. My goal for the defense is getting stops and playing a lot more confident, a lot more aggressive than we did last year. Personally, help however I can and if that means making plays when they come to me then that’s what it is and however it ends up after the season that’s what we’ll look forward to then.”
This spring, Springer has taken advantage of spring practice.
“Right now, they got a couple of different packages that I am playing boundary safety right now,” Springer said. “They got me moving around to a rover position. I’m playing some nickel too, which is what I played before I came over from Navy.”
During his tenure with the Midshipmen, Springer played in 30 games with 10 starts. In the 2019 season, he recorded 69 total tackles and led Navy with 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Springer and the Rebels conclude spring practice with the annual Grove Bowl on April 24.