Lavon Hooks as a Junior College transfer took a few games to get adjusted to the SEC but on the October matchup with LSU the “switch was flipped” and he looks to make an even bigger jump in production in 2014 as a Senior.
WHERE’S HE FROM?
Norcross, GA native comes to Ole Miss via Northeast MS Community College. The 6-foot 3-inch, 300 pound defensive tackle was highly sought after in 2013. Hooks had a long list of awards and teams to choose from as a Junior. 247Sports.com listed Hooks as the top Juco player over all in 2013. He was the #1 rated Juco DT by JCGridiron.com and the top Juco player in Mississippi by Clarionledger.com.
He choose Ole Miss over Mississippi State, Auburn, Nebraska and Washington according to this ESPN story by Kipp Adams.
Hooks started in two games last year but played in 12 games providing quality depth at the tackle position. His best games last year:
- 10/19/13 Two tackles and a sack against LSU
- 11/9/13 Two tackles and a half a tackle for loss against Arkansas.
There is a natural adjustment for first year players whether it is a freshman or a transfer. In 2014, Freeze expects to have a full two deep at the defensive tackle position, with Issac Gross, Bryon Bennett, Hooks and the fourth tackle will be freshman phenom Robert Nkemdiche, who will be used more at the tackle position rather than end.
There will be opportunities to use guys like Hooks and Nkemdiche at the end position, against more physical run-first teams, but their primary position will be in the trenches.
It is reasonable to expect Hooks will get off to a faster start this year compared to last and he will provide a stronger contribution in run defense.
This spring an ankle sprain prevented him from showing his full abilities but at 100%, Hooks will help build a wall on the Ole Miss defensive line in 2014.