Every year there are many lists that pass the summer months by. Some list moments from the past seasons, rank the best players or even take a historical look through the archives of program history. This is one of those lists.
With 45 days until the Ole Miss Rebels kick off against the Vanderbilt Commodores, Ole Hotty Toddy will be listing off the 45 Rebels who are most crucial to the success of the 2013 campaign. Today we begin with No.45 Mark Dodson, Jr..
Mark Dodson, Jr.
5’10 195 Lbs.
2012 Season: Dodson’s senior campaign at Whitehaven High School was a memorable one. In 15 games he managed to rush for a combined 3295 yards on 318 carries, resulting in37 touchdowns. He ended his prep career as the all-time leading rusher in Shelby County history.
A 4-star recruit by Rivals, ESPN and 247, Dodson accrued a lot of national interest. He initially chose the Rebels over Vanderbilt, but Freeze & Co. has to hold off an elevnth-hour ambush by the Longhorns in January.
As an early-enrollee, he got to run through spring practice and impressed the coaching staff throughout. It will be hard to keep a guy like him off the field and with the substitution-laden offense that head coach Hugh Freeze likes to run, he will play early.
Value: With the loss of Randall Mackey, there is an open spot in the Rebel backfield. That said, Ole Miss returns senior Jeff Scott who rushed for 846 yards and 6 touchdowns last year as well as sophomores Jaylen Walton and I’Tavius Mathers who rushed for a combined 326 yards and 2 touchdowns in limited duty. Freeze also inked four 4-star running backs in Dodson, Kailo Moore, Eugene Brazley and Jordan Wilkins.
Dodson has shown his value to the coaches and has a leg up on his fellow freshmen by getting to camp early. There is a chance that Moore and Brazley see time in the defensive backfield and/or the slot on offense which could mean more snaps for Dodson. At just 170 Lbs. Scott is not your classic workhorse and with the inexperience of Walton and Mathers, Dodson could be a vital part of the running game. If he can come in and do his job from the get-go, he could be a huge asset for the Rebels.
45. RB Mark Dodson, Jr.