Last season Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell suffered one of the most heartbreaking and gruesome injuries ever witnessed on the gridiron. The magnitude of the situation did not help any with the emotions that Rebel fans experienced, standing in disbelief as their star wide receiver laid painfully on the ground, and his season at that moment looked nothing less than the end.
In the final seconds of the 2014 game against Auburn, Treadwell received a pass on a normal slant route. Instead of accepting a tackle near the goal line to establish a likely win for Ole Miss, Treadwell made the decision to go for it all. He would cross the goal line as he was drugged to the grown (in a legal play). His left foot would get tangled in the play, resulting in what was later discovered as a dislocated ankle and a broken fibula.
The ruling on the field was a touchdown, giving the Rebels the outright lead with under a minute to play. An official review was called to see whether Treadwell had full possession of the ball as he crossed the goal line. Before Treadwell was even carted off the field and after further review, the ruling on the field was overturned (the touchdown erased), giving Auburn possession as they had recovered the fumble.
In that moment prior to Treadwell’s injury, Ole Miss’ relevance in the College Football Playoffs still looked promising. After the injury, not so much. The fate of the Rebels’ season laid their aside Treadwell in pain. Every Rebel fan felt his excruciating pain.
Oct 18, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (1) and Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Cameron Sutton (23) go up for the ball during the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
There is no questioning of the impact Treadwell had on the 2014 season. Due to his threat down field, he was often double covered by opposing defenses, which in turn helped ignite the success stories of Cody Core, Vince Sanders, and Evan Engram. Even after missing the remaining four games of the season (including the Peach Bowl), Treadwell still finished the 2014 season with 632 yards and lead the team with 48 receptions and second with five touchdowns.
The “what could have” been is all over now. The Ole Miss Rebels are looking to a fresh new start in 2015. They will be packed with a very talented newly signed recruiting class and numerous returning starters.
On paper, the Rebels look stronger heading into the 2015 season than they did in the previous season. That comes as a surprise for many, considering Ole Miss will be sole searching for a new starting quarterback for the first time in three years. However, your grandmother could possibly lead the SEC, passing to this receiver core. It maybe the best in the entire SEC, or possibly the nation. The receivers will consist of new talents and former five-star prospects Damarkus Lodge and Van Jefferson. Core, Engram, Collins Moore, Quincy Adeboyejo, Markell Pack, Damore’ea Stringfellow, and Derrick Jones all return. More importantly, the Rebels return future top-rated NFL prospect Laquon Treadwell.
For the most part, Treadwell’s road to recovery has appeared to be on track. The return of him by spring practices looks more promising each day. If you follow Treadwell’s social media accounts you’re made aware of this on a daily basis. His last image posted on Instagram was simple, but emotional and inspiring to say the less. Welcome him back, y’all.
His video updates of his progress are just as inspiring. The latest on Instagram is of Treadwell practicing fundamentals with fellow teammate tight end Evan Engram.
But, the most captivating one of them all was when just after two months of suffering his injury against Auburn, Treadwell was running again.
Get ready Rebel fans, because Treadwell is returning and the upcoming season maybe his best to date.