Ole Miss Football: Offensive Line Will Lead The Way In 2017

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Shea Patterson
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Shea Patterson /

Ole Miss football returned to practice over two weeks ago. For the offensive line unit, it has been a pretty busy fall practice.

Every fall we are used to seeing new blood on the Ole Miss football team; this season the team has a new head man in Matt Luke. He was promoted to interim head coach when Hugh Freeze stepped down from the position last month. That left a vacancy in the coaching ranks. Ole Miss needed a new O-line coach, and they needed one fast.

Insert Jack Bicknell Jr, former offensive line coach of multiple NFL teams. His resume speaks for itself, the man knows what he’s doing.

The Comeback

Ole Miss Rebels Football
Ole Miss Rebels Football /

Ole Miss Rebels Football

Ole Miss loses only one starter from last years O-line in Robert Conyers. Conyers was a four-year contributor in the trenches and a solid leader, but not irreplaceable.

Sean Rawlings will slide from right tackle to the center position, which he did from time to time during Conyers past injuries. He has also been named to the Rimington preseason watch list. Alex Givens will replace Rawlings on the right side and, viola, you have your starting line up.

Star Power

The Ole Miss Football team is known for having talented lineman. The problem has been the depth. There are 3 former 5 stars in the trenches in Greg LittleJavon Patterson, and Rod Taylor. The talent is there, along with multiple 4 stars sprinkled in between.

The Depth has Come Around

One major upgrade for the 2017 Ole Miss Football team will be the depth on the offensive line. From left to right, you have Greg Little, Javon Patterson, Sean Rawlings, Jordan Sims, and Alex Givens. That is a very formidable unit. Now you take a glance at the back ups. From left to right you have Royce Newman, Jack Defoor, Eli Johnson, Daronte Bouldin, and Rod Taylor. The depth has formed.

Perhaps they aren’t quite up to par with Alabama, but this is the best unit that has touched the field since Matt Luke has been on the sideline. Guys like Daronte Bouldin and Rod Taylor will see a lot of starter reps as well. They have shown they can take the next step and there will not be a drop off when they touch the field.

Rod Taylor has shown he is flexible enough to literally play any position asked of him. He will be the Swiss army knife of the Ole Miss line in 2017, and will only strengthen his chances to play on Sundays.

High Praise

Ole Miss Football coaches have been high on the offensive line throughout spring and fall camp. Matt Luke has praised them for being more cohesive and finally looking like they have the right depth for league play.

Cole Cubelic, an analyst for the SEC Network, says the Ole Miss Offensive line has a chance to be the most improved O-line in the SEC this coming year. That’s good news as Barrett Sallee ranked the Rebels O-line play 8th out of 14 teams last season.

Next: There Will Be Football!

The Rebels will rely on the Offensive line in 2017 to keep inexperienced quarterback Shea Patterson up right and comfortable. If they can do that, and i think they are more than capable of doing it, then this Ole Miss Football team will be lethal. Good luck to the offensive line!