Liggins will pass the football, run the football, block the guy with the football, and will paint your front porch all in the same day.
What position have we not seen Ole Miss Rebel athlete Jeremy Liggins play, yet?
Well, apparently we haven’t seen him as an offensive tackle, because he has never played the position. However, he must have impressed Freeze last season with his tight end blocks. On Wednesday, during a National Signing Day press conference, coach Hugh Freeze made the announcement of the position change. “We are moving Jeremy Liggins to offensive tackle, which I think is his future,” Freeze said. “This made me feel better about not just going after a kid. I think that is going to be Jeremy’s future as far as where he needs to be.”
The talented 6 foot – 3 inches, nearly 300 pounder, and Oxford native became a fan favorite during the 2014 season. During the spring of 2014, hype built on Liggins making quarterback appearances in the upcoming season. Rebel faithful got what they asked for.
Although Liggins didn’t throw the ball much last season (one incomplete pass), he was predominately utilized for tight (mostly third and short) situations. Freeze used him as a weapon to run the quarterback draw up the middle, and the results paid off. Big Lig proved he did not need a depleting offensive line to clear lanes for him. Liggins cleared the lanes himself. He carried the ball 22 times and rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns.
Liggins also played the backup role to tight end Evan Engram and was his primary position last season. He wasn’t much of a threat in the receiving game, considering he caught one pass for three yards. However, Liggins was very talented as a blocker and showed he could move some of the best SEC defenders backwards.
Now that freshman tight end Sammie Epps‘ redshirt season is over and the Rebels will return junior Evan Engram, I can see why Freeze is making the change for Liggins. I personally believe it is a smart move by Freeze. Liggins has proven he will capitalize at any position he is placed. I’m not sure how effective he will be this fall, but he may have the potential to replace junior left tackle Laremy Tunsil (who will likely depart to the NFL after the 2015 season) and possibly senior right tackle Fahn Cooper. This maybe a long-term investment, considering Liggins still has a redshirt available to him.
What is interesting is that Freeze plans to continue to use Liggins as a quarterback fill-in, along with the offensive tackle role next season. “We’ll line him up at quarterback and offensive tackle next year,” Freeze said.
It is not uncommon for offensive lineman to take on different offensive roles throughout the season, even in the middle of a game. In the 2015 Cotton Bowl, Baylor surprised the Michigan St. defense when they utilized offensive guard Laquan McGowan on a pass play as a tight end. The result was unforgettable as the 390 pound behemoth caught the 18 yard pass for a touchdown.
In that situation, Baylor had to swap jersey numbers for McGowan to be eligible for the play. I’m not even sure if Liggins’ can line up as a tackle wearing the No. 15 jersey. I asked this question to Connor Hennessey , who first reported the news on Twitter.
So, it might be possible that you’ll see Liggins sporting two different jersey numbers this upcoming season.
What matters though in this instance is that Freeze has made another bold move for his offense. He realizes that he has a tremendously talented all-around player in Liggins. This is a guy if Freeze needed him to, could fill in needs at defensive tackle. Oh yeah, by the way, Liggins played that position too while attending Northeast Community College. Get ready Rebel fans for some very thrilling spring practices.